What to expect on your first visit

I will ask you a lot of questions about your current problem and past problems. This will include information about your medical background. You may feel that some of this is irrelevant to your current problem, but please bear with me – the more I know, the easier it is for me to help you.

After asking questions, which normally takes about 10 minutes, you may be asked to undress as far as your underwear so that I can see your spine and posture. The examination will involve asking you to do some movements so that any limitations can be noted. This will help me make a more accurate diagnosis.

Please remember that undressing is not compulsory. From my point of view, being able to see the problem area is a great help e.g. if you have an elbow problem, it is useful for us to see your shoulder/neck area as well since what you are feeling may be coming from that area. If you feel uncomfortable about undressing, please discuss this with me.

When this examination is finished, I may also carry out a number of medical tests such as checking your reflexes and muscle strength.

After the examination, I will make a provisional diagnosis and explain what type of treatment I think will help to reduce your symptoms and discuss a treatment plan.

In some instances, I may be unable to make a diagnosis or offer assistance. You may be referred for an x-ray or for another opinion.

During treatment, I will explain what I am doing and why and ask for your permission to carry out particular techniques before doing them. There will be times during treatment when what I do does hurts because you are in pain. If at any time you find this too much, or if you decide you’d rather not have a particular technique performed on you, please tell me immediately. There is often another technique that can be used instead.

After treatment, you may experience temporary discomfort. Sometimes you may feel sore in a different way. This is a normal part of your body’s reaction to the treatment. If you are at all concerned about your reaction, please phone me. If you have any questions at any time, please ask.

ACC

ACC is obligated by law to cover all accidents occurring in New Zealand regardless of where they occur. An accident is defined in law as an “external force acting on your body”. A brick dropping on your big toe is a good example. A sneeze, being an internal force, is not, therefore, an accident. Gradual process injuries like overuse, come into a very tricky category that ACC prefer general practitioners and specialists to assess. Osteopaths do not make the final decision as to what is an accident, an ACC desk clerk does – we need to give them the information that makes it likely that they will agree.

Once ACC have acknowledged that you have had an accident, then they will cover you for a certain number of treatments (it changes according to the injury) or for one year, whichever comes first. After that, more paperwork needs filling out by your practitioner. At the moment, ACC are rejecting over 80% of these. I will, therefore, once your initial number of treatments or one year is completed, be asking you to pay the full amount of your consult ($75or $65 for children and full-time students) until approval comes through from ACC. If ACC does decide to cover your claim, then I will either refund you the extra money paid or keep you in credit, whichever you prefer.

If you have any questions, please ask and I will do my best to answer them. Final decisions are always up to ACC.