Frequently Asked Questions
Want to find out more about Chiropractic? Not sure what to expect? We have already answered some questions below.
Chiropractic is a healthcare profession that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and management of neuro-muscular-skeletal conditions. These conditions are due to mechanical dysfunction of the joints, the associated muscles, and the effect this has on nerve function, general health and wellbeing.
As a natural and complementary healthcare solution, Chiropractic works first to understand the cause and source of your complaint. Chiropractic treatment involves gentle and specific adjustments of the spine and other areas of your body to realign vertebra that is subluxated or unlock joints that are fixated and not moving correctly. Ensuring greater, and improved movement helping to manage the pain and nerve irritation, allowing your body to use its healing ability to attain optimal health.
A visit to your Doctor of Chiropractic is a similar experience to visiting your GP or other medical specialists. A Chiropractor is a primary health care professional. Therefore, you do not need to be referred by a GP or specialist. For your Chiropractor to understand your complaint and treat it, they must conduct a full physical examination, including appropriate orthopaedic and neurological tests whereby the joint function, muscle strength, and nerve function, as well as body balance and alignment, are determined. Your Chiropractor will then be in a position to establish the problem area and identify the source of the complaint. Upon diagnosis, the findings will be discussed with the patient. Whereafter, different treatment options and treatment plans will be recommended. At this stage, the Chiropractor will answer any questions or concerns you may have. Treatment may be in the form of only a single visit offering rapid relief. Alternatively, the condition may require further continued care necessitating several treatments to stabilize the problem. Treatment will most likely include manipulation/adjustments, soft tissue therapies and other techniques, such as heat, ice, ultrasound, electrotherapy, massage, nutritional advice and exercise may be used to enhance results. Chiropractic is a non-invasive therapy. However, patients are often required to remove certain items of clothing to enable the Chiropractor to examine and treat the condition appropriately. Gowns are available for you to wear for this purpose.
Chiropractors are Doctors of Chiropractic having trained for six years. They are required to continue to update their knowledge and attend vital Chiropractic seminars. To practice legally as a Chiropractor in New Zealand Chiropractors must be registered with the New Zealand Chiropractic Board and have an annual practising certificate issued by this board. The New Zealand Chiropractic Association (NZCA) is the professional body representing most of the registered Chiropractors in New Zealand. While Chiropractic is a drug-free healing alternative for neuro- muscular-skeletal complaints, your doctor of Chiropractic will accept referrals from other medical specialists. If necessary, your Chiropractor will refer you to the appropriate specialist.
Chiropractors are trained to treat all muscular and skeletal problems within the body, such as hips, knees, shoulder, and foot problems. This also includes any sports-related injuries. Some Chiropractors have done postgraduate studies in extremity and sporting injuries. In New Zealand ACC requires Chiropractors treating extremity and sports-related extremity injuries to be registered as such. At Chirohealth your principle Chiropractor has completed a postgraduate certification in sports-related injuries and is registered with ACC to treat extremity problems.
Chiropractors are registered as ACC providers, thus treatment is covered by ACC. As with most medical professions that contract to ACC, you are required to pay a surcharge for your treatment. Your Chiropractor can lodge an ACC claim on your behalf and provide the relevant documentation.
Your initial consultation and treatment are usually 45 min to an hour. During this time your Chiropractor will do a thorough history, examination, report of findings and treatment if indicated. Follow-up visits and treatments are usually approximately 20 min but can extend longer with difficult cases. The number of treatments you will require depends on many factors. Factors such as whether your condition is an acute or chronic, traumatic or non-traumatic and the nature of the injury. There are generally three levels or stages of care:
The acute inflammatory or pain phase. This initial phase often requires approximately 3 weeks of treatment. The number of treatments can range from 1 to 3 treatments per week. Depending on factors such as the severity and nature of the injury.
The healing phase or stabilisation phase. The healing phase is where the body will heal the injured tissue. Treatments focus on stabilising the injury to avoid re-occurrence or a relapse into phase 1. Treatment frequency reduces to 1-2 treatment per week or fortnight and may extend over 1-3 months, depending on many factors. We strongly recommend patients follow through with this level of care. This will often help to strengthen and stabilise their injury helping to prevent reoccurrence.
Maintenance Phase. This level of care is recommended for patients with a chronic re-occurring back complaint, often related to the pathology of the spine, including, degenerative spines, prolapsed discs, and old traumatic injuries. These spines often need ongoing treatment to maintain and improve function and manage their pain. This can range from 1 treatment fortnightly to monthly or every few months depending on what is required.
REMEMBER: You are in charge of your health. We will guide you and recommend the level of care you require. You can, however, decide on the level of care you want. Whether that is just to get rid of the pain or make long-term changes to improve and stabilise your injury and improve your health.