If you have never been to a chiropractor or physiotherapist before, you might not know what to expect. That is why we have answered common FAQs to help you feel more prepared before your first visit.
When should I see a chiropractor or physiotherapist?
If you are suffering from musculosketal pain, discomfort or any sort of injury you may benefit from seeing one of our chiropractors or physiotherapists. It is also important to see a chiropractor or physiotherapist when you first start to feel a little niggle or ache coming on in order to prevent something minor from getting worse or turning into a long-term problem. Early treatment and intervention usually improve recovery times.
If you are unsure about whether or not our physiotherapists and chiropractors can help you, simply contact us and ask.
Should I see a chiropractor or a physiotherapist?
At Back in Focus, both our chiropractors and physiotherapists are trained at treating the muscle and joints of the back and neck as well as the peripheral muscles and joints of the upper and lower limbs (e.g. shoulder and knees). Both practitioners can also treat symptoms that may be caused by a dysfunction in your musculoskeletal system such as headaches, vertigo/dizziness and balance/coordination issues.
At Back in Focus, there is a lot of crossover between the skillset of our chiropractors and physiotherapists and as such you can see either practitionre in almost any case depending on your own personal preference. However, one key difference is that gernally chiropractors more commonly use joints adjustments/manipulataion and physiotherapists more commonly use joint mobilisation techniques in their treatment. Physiotherapists specialise in providing pre- and post-operative care.
Most of our chiropractors and physiotherapists also further specialise in certain areas of the body and conditions which you can read about in their Profiles. Alternative, contact us if you would like some further direction on who to see.
Do I need a doctor’s referral to see a chiropractor or physiotherapist?
No, you do not need a to see a GP or specialist prior to seeing a chiropractor or phsiotherapist as they are both first-contact, primary healthcare practitioners. That means that you can book an appointment without seeing your doctor first.
If your condition relates to a Comprehensive Third Party or Work Cover claim, it is advisable to have a GP or specialist referral prior to making your first appointment.
Do I need to make an appointment?
We highly recommend making an appointment prior to coming into our clinic in order to avoid disappointment or a long wait time. However, we will always try to accomodate patient in cases of emergency by recommend calling ahead to book an appointment so that you do not have to wait too long. In most cases we should be able to offer you an appointment within 24 hours.
You can see some of our available appointment slots in real-time on our Booking page. If you are unable to find a time that suits you, just contact us and we will try to accomdate you as best we can.
What should I wear to my appointment?
This will depend on what your condition is. Your practitioner will need to have access to the area of concern. Don’t worry if you forget, we have plenty of gowns and shorts at our clinics.
What should I bring to my first appointment?
If you have any relevant paperwork or scans, please bring these with you to your first appointment. This may include x-rays, doctor’s letter/referrals, discharge summaries, etc.
Do I need to have imaging before I come in?
No, but if you already have imaging relevant to your condition please bring it in as it can aid in diagnosis. If imaging is required to assist in diagnosis, both our chiropractors and physiotherapists can order x-rays that are covered under Medicare or we can refer you back to your GP if you require other types of imaging.
What can I expect from my first consultation?
At Back in Focus, our chiropractors or physiotherapists only see one client at a time in a private treatment room. During your first consultation, our chiropractors or physiotherapists cwill ask you a series of questions about your current symptoms, previous injuries and medical history, review any imaging you may have and conduct a physical examination which may incolve observation, palpation (touch) and movement.
This is all done to gather as much information as possible to form a diagnosis and determine the best course of treatment for you. After the assessment, treatment will commence which will usually include a combination of education about your condition, manual therapy, exercise prescription and liftstyle modification advice.
You will leave your first consultation with a working dianosis and prognosis, including a time frame of how long the condition should take to settle and how many appointments are likely to be required.
For more information on what our process may entail, see Our Process.
Does the assessment or treatment hurt?
It is important to tell your chiropractor or physiotherapist if any part of the physical assessment is painful or uncomfortable as this will give them more insight into your condition and help them devise a more appropriate treatment plan.
Some manual therapy treatment techniques can be uncomfortable however treatment should never be severely painful. If you find any technique too uncomfortable, please do not hesitate to let your treating pracittioner know as there is usually an alternative technique.
It is common to experience mild soreness for a few days after treatment, similar to what is felt a day or two after exercise. This is completely normal. If this soreness persists for more than a few days or increases significantly, pelase contact us to discuss your concerns.
What will my treatment involve?
This will depend on what you rcondition is and your personal preferences. Our chiropractors and physiotherapists arer treained in a wide variety of difference techniques and your practitioner will work with you in deciding which techniques are the most appropriate for you.
However, at Back in Focus we pride ourselves on being very hands-on with our treatments and so treatment will usually include manual therapy techniques in conjunction with exercise prescription and advice. Some of the common treatment techniques that we use at Back in Focus include but are not limited to:
– Joint adjustment/maniupulation and mobilisation
– Soft tissue massage, trigger point therapy, active release technique and instrument assisted soft tissue mobilsiations (IASTM/Graston)
– Dry needling
– TENS/interferential therapy, ultrasound therapy and shockwave therapy
– Casting and sling application
– Therapeutic exercise and stretches
– Ergnomic, lifestyle and behaviour modification advice.
Your treatment plan is likely to involve and combination of some or all of these techniques.
Can I opt out of a particular treatment?
Yes, you can. It is your body so if there is any component of your treament program that you feel uncomfortable with or would prefer not to trial, pelase diccuss this with your treating chiropractor or physiotherapist as there is usually an alternative technique that can achieve the same result.
Will seeing a chiropractor or physiotherapist provide me with immediate relief?
If you are in pain, it is understandable that you woul dwant your problem fixed right away. Most quick fixes and pain medications merely mask pain and fail to address tha underlying problem. It also often takes time for your body to heal and function optimally. As a general rule, the long you have an injury or pain, the longer it wil ltake to heal.
In most cases, a chiropractor or physiotehrapist can provide some immediate relief from pain. However, our practitioners also aim to find and treat the underlying cause of your pain which is a process that usually requires more than one session. This gives us more opportunity to work with you to develop a long-term solution that helps to settle your pain naturally and prevent it from coming back.
How many times will I need to come?
This will depend on what your condition is and varies significantly from person to person. Some of the factors that affect your rate of healing include your age, general health and how long you have had your problem.
By the end of your first session, your chiropractor or physiotherapist should be able to give you a rough idea of how many times they think you will need to attend and when you should be reviewed next.
Will I have to do anything between sessions?
Yes, your treatment plan will usually include exercises/stretches or ergonomic/lifestyle/behaviour modification advice that you should follow through with between sessions that are important in the speed and extent of your recovery. These exercises/stretches are usually not strenuous and your therapist will run through each exercise with you so that you know how to do them correctly.
Can your chiropractos or physiotherapists refer to specialists?
No, we are not able to refer to specialists such as orthopaedic surgeons, neurologists or rheumatologists. However, we are more than happy to liase with your GP to ensure that you are referred to the appropriate specialist.
Is chiropractic or physiotherapy covered by Medicare?
Chiropractic and physiotherapy are usually not covered by Medicare but you can get partial funding from Medicare through a Chronic Disease Management (CDM) plan (formerly known as the Enhanced Primary Care [EPC] plan) if your GP refers you with one of these. A CDM plan allows individuals with chronic medical conditions to access up to a maximum of 5 Medicare-rebated chiropractic, physiotherapy or other allied health services per calender year.
Do you treat Comprehensive Third Party (CTP) or Work Cover claims?
Yes, most of our practitioners treat insurance and work cover patients. If you have an insurance claim, you will need to get a Certificate of Capacity/Certificate of Fitness from your GP or specialist prior to making an appointment. Please also let us know your claim number and insurance company at the time of booking. It is also important to contact your insurer prior to your first appointment to ensure that your claim has been accepted.
We directly invoice insurance companies for your treatment on your behalf.
Do you treat patients covered under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)?
Yes, however we only treat self-managed patients and so do not invoice NDIS for your treatment on your behalf.
What payment methods do you accept?
We can provide instant health insurance rebates for all health funds and offer bulk-billing for clients referred under a Medicare Chronic Disease Management (CDM) plan. WE also accept cash and card, including AMEX, however a surcharge applies to all card transactions.
Do you accept private health insurance?
Yes, we have HICAPS terminals on site. This means that we can process your health insurance claim on the spot and you will only have to pay the gap (the remainder of the consultation fee). Your gap payment amount will depend on your level of cover. We accept cash and card, including AMEX, however a surcharge applies to all card transactions.
Please ensure that you bring yoru health fund card with you or have access to your digital card so that we can process your claim.
If I see another practitioner within the practice will they have knowledge about my condition to continue my treatment?
Yes, all your notes and records are kept on your file. At Back in Focus, we strive to provide and maintain an interdisciplinary approach to treatment.