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Townsville Chiropractor Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractors in Australia are a nationally registered and a regulated health care profession. Chiropractic is a drug and surgery free modality of treatment concerned with the diagnosis, management and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system; this includes the effects of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health.

It is based on the teachings of Galen and Hippocrates and the premise that the body can respond appropriately to its environment provided that the nervous system is free of interference. This was further developed by Palmer which lead to a focus on the spinal column and its functioning. In summary, chiropractors focus on the detection and correction of aberrant spinal function and its subsequent effect on how the nervous system controls and coordinates the body in response to its environment.

In Australia, chiropractors are educated in the University sector at an under-graduate and post-graduate level and there is a growing research and evidence base not only in Australia but through international federations. As with other healthcare professions, there are internationally and nationally recognised standards of qualification to enable practice in Australia and this is part of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme.

Q. Do I need a referral?

No. Chiropractors are primary health care practitioners. However we collaborate with the medical practitioners and other allied health care professionals in Townsville.

Q. Are private health rebates available?

Yes, Kirwan Complete Care offers on-the-spot private health rebates for all of our allied health services. Be sure to check with your health insurer if you are covered for the service you are receiving or ask our clinic manager Helena for more help

Q. What happens at the appointment?

In order to achieve the most accurate diagnosis and best outcome from your treatment we need to understand your medical and health history. Your chiropractor will discuss your history in some details, followed by a comprehensive physical examination. Once we have all the information we need we will sit and talk about our findings and the best treatment plan for you.

Q. Do I need x-rays?

Until your chiropractor completes your initial consultation and comprehensive examination the answer to this question is unknown. A decision can only be made after your consultation and examination. If you have any recent scans (MRI, x-rays, ultrasound) please bring them with you.

Q. What are some of the common condition people visit a Chiropractor for?

There are numerous conditions chiropractic care can help you with. To mention the most common ones:

  • Chronic migraines and headaches
  • Lower Back Pain 
  • Neck and mid back pain
  • Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
  • Knee Pain
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Scoliosis
  • Repetitive Strain Injury
  • Ankle Pain
  • Pregnancy

Q. Do you only treat sports injuries?

No. We treat all different type of injuries not always related to sport.

Q. Can Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) clients seek chiropractic help?

Yes. We do look after a number of DVA clients. DVA clients seeking chiropractic care need a referral from their GP.

Q. Can I claim this service through Medicare?

Some patient can be eligible for Medicare Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) that can cover for up to five chiropractic visits per year. Clients need a referral from their GP to be able to participate in that program.

Q. What is the difference between Exercise Physiologist and Physiotherapist?

Distinguishing between the two professions isn’t easy, as they are not mutually exclusive. Both Physiotherapists and Exercise Physiologists can work within a broad scope of practice, providing that they are appropriately trained. As a result, there is overlap, so it is understandable that confusion exists.

Physiotherapists & Exercise Physiologists are university trained professionals (4 years) that are both part of the “Allied Health” group who may form part of a multi-disciplinary team which may include Doctors, Surgeons and Chiropractors. Generally, they are specialists in the area of musculoskeletal disorders; prevention, treatment and management. They can also be specialists in areas such as cardiovascular, pulmonary and neurological rehabilitation. Physiotherapists are known to use a variety of methods such as acupuncture, therapeutic exercise, massage, joint mobilisation and manipulation.

Whilst Exercise Physiologists do not diagnose nor manipulate joints but are recently known to apply other therapeutic modalities such as dry needling and deep tissue massage, given the appropriate training and courses have been completed. I would advise that you check these qualifications before seeking treatment. Exercise Physiologists, sometimes referred to as EPs, utilise exercise for injury and chronic disease prevention and management. Exercise Physiologists have a broad knowledge in all aspects health related.

Working in Public and Private Health, EPs will also address lifestyle and behaviour modification. Like Physiotherapists, Exercise Physiologists will often specialise in specific areas according to their strengths, so when seeking out the services of an EP it is preferable to find one that specialises in your target area to assure optimum results from your treatment.

Some of these conditions include:

  • Musculoskeletal conditions such as Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis, post Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Cardiorespiratory conditions such as post heart attack, heart disease, high blood pressure
  • Neurological conditions such as Motor Neuron Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease
  • Metabolic conditions such as Syndrome X, Diabetes, Dyslipidaemia and Obesity

Consultations with an Exercise physiologist can attract a rebate from your private health fund. Exercise Physiology is listed under Extras. The rebate available does differ from fund to fund so check your fund to see your entitlements.

Q. What is a Remedial massage?

Remedial massage is the assessment and treatment of your muscles, connective tissues, ligaments and tendons dysfunction to help with a healing process of those structures. Your remedial massage therapists will discuss your current health status and assess your body for any structures that can be causing pain and make a decision on the best treatment plan for you.

Some of the benefits of having regular remedial massage includes: improved blood and lymph flow, decrease scar tissue and adhesions, restored muscle length, relaxation, promotion of normal joint and capsule position.

Q. Remedial massage vs Relaxation massage?

This is one of the more frequent questions we are asked. A relaxation massage is a more gentle form of treatment to help you loosen up your body and help you relax and de-stress. The pressure is usually less intense and the manual techniques used target more superficial structures rather than the deep ones.

A remedial massage requires proper assessment and treatment plan. Techniques and pressure used during treatment can be often uncomfortable since they target areas of decreased mobility and inflammation. Always discuss the intensity of the pressure with your massage therapist.


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We do not warrant or represent that the information in this site is free from errors or omissions or is suitable for your intended use. We recommend that you seek individual advice before acting on any information in this site. We have made every effort to ensure that the information on our website is correct at the time of publication but recommend that you exercise your own skill and care with respect to its use. If you wish to purchase our services, please do not rely solely on the information in this website.

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