If you find yourself getting more headaches and neck pain during lockdown, you are not alone.
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Lockdowns have hit us all hard – mentally and physically – and doctors have noticed the toll they have taken on our bodies.
Movement Studio Melbourne’s clinical director and chiropractor, Dr. Graham Rock, has seen an increase in headaches in addition to upper back and neck pain during lockdown.
“Much of this is due to people’s natural stress response, which is focused on the back, neck, shoulders, and also the clenching of the jaws,” he said.
“We also found that a lot of people don’t sleep very well either [during lockdown]which really affects how you feel. “
The President of the Australian Chiropractors Association, Dr. Anthony Coxon said three main causes are causing the increase in spinal, back and shoulder pain.
“One of these is posture, as people at the kitchen table work with their laptops rather than ergonomic chairs and desks,” he said.
The second reason is that people move less and sit longer during work hours.
“People don’t go to the gym and miss movements on the side, those little movements like getting up and walking down the hall to talk to a work colleague,” said Dr. Coxon.
“The third reason is stress as the pandemic has severely affected the mental health of all Australians and this has definitely contributed to an increase in back, neck and shoulder pain.”
To relieve the persistent pain, Dr. Coxon, finding an ergonomic facility and breaking the habit of staying in your seat all day.
“Every time you answer the phone or get an email, just stand up and gently stretch backwards to make sure you keep making these small, easy movements throughout the day,” he said
When it comes to helping his patients, Dr. Coxon, “What is really important about chiropractors is that it’s about treating the person, not the problem.”
“It is important to understand what stresses are physical, emotional or social in a person’s life because these influences determine what type of care is best for them,” he said.
How Much Does It Cost To See A Chiropractor?
Outside the lockdown, 300,000 Australians visit a chiropractor every week for back, neck and shoulder pain, headaches and other muscle and joint problems.
For an initial consultation of about 60 minutes, prices can vary from $ 90 to $ 150 depending on the clinic, said Dr. Coxon.
For a standard consultation, prices vary between 60 and 80 US dollars, depending on the length of the appointment, the type of clinic and the expertise of the practitioner.
In the clinic of Dr. Rock in Melbourne, its patients are billed based on the length of their appointment.
“We either do a 15-minute appointment, which is better for people in recovery, for $ 70 and a 30-minute appointment for $ 90,” he said.
“We are also offering our services to concessionaires for 20 US dollars less.”
While you don’t need a GP referral to see a chiropractor, some of your costs will be funded under the Chronic Disease Treatment Plan.
The Medicare rebate can help save $ 55.10 per session with a maximum of five visits per year for affiliated health services via referral to a GP.
Chiropractic treatment is included in some additional private health insurance packages. You need to check with your health insurance company, as this depends on the scope of your insurance and there may be waiting times.
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What does a chiropractor treat?
Chiropractors are health professionals who diagnose, treat, and prevent musculoskeletal disorders, with a particular interest in how our bones, tissues, and nervous system relate to the spine and how it works.
Dr. Coxon said a common misconception is that chiropractic “has to be rough, painful, and a loud bang to be effective”.
“Once we understand the problem, we can find out if the chiropractic treatment is appropriate and treatments vary significantly based on age and body type,” he said.
“The techniques are very gentle, including specific spinal adjustments or manipulations through gentle pressure on the spine or various soft tissue techniques, massage, mobilization, and other forms of manual therapy,” he said.
While the majority of chiropractors are performing hands-on treatments, Dr. Coxon added that special spring-loaded instruments or electrode therapies also help with manipulating the spine.
During a patient’s first visit to a chiropractor, Dr. Rock that he would give 45 minutes to an hour to take a full medical history and a thorough physical exam.
“I look at how the person is moving to find out their greatest limitation of movement and if they need to be referred for additional imaging like an x-ray,” he said.
“We are working to find out quickly what the causes of your pain are, what we can change in your life and want to carry out our treatments if we think it is safe.”
During his decades of practice, Dr. Rock states that his patients are “getting younger as they want to avoid problems in the future”.
“We found that people really want to be active in order to prevent and avoid relapse of their back or neck pain, and most people opted for either maintenance or supportive care.”
Frequently asked Questions:
Do I need a referral from my doctor to see a chiropractor?
Anyone can see a chiropractor without a referral, but you are not eligible for the Medicare rebate.
Does Medicare Cover Chiropractic Services?
Yes, chiropractic services are subsidized under the Chronic Disease Treatment Plan through a GP referral. The Medicare discount per session is $ 55.10 and you are entitled to a maximum of five visits per year for allied health services.
Are chiropractic services covered by private health insurance?
Chiropractic is included in a few extra packages. You need to check with your health insurance provider, as this depends on the scope of your insurance and there may be waiting times.
Find a more suitable supplementary insurance
How Much Does It Cost To See A Chiropractor?
An initial consultation can cost between $ 90 and $ 150. Prices for subsequent consultations range from $ 60 to $ 80. Patients with WorkCover and eligible discounts are insured in participating clinics.
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