Frequently asked questions

What is included in an initial consult?

Our initial consultations are always booked for one hour. In this appointment, the Physiotherapist will perform a full assessment and treatment. They will also talk extensively with you about your past history so that we can make a fully informed diagnosis of your condition. All our treatments balance a hands-on approach with appropriate education. At the end of the treatment, they will go through simple exercises for you to perform in between treatments, to help maximise your outcomes.

Subsequent appointments will be half an hour and will start with the Physio checking how you are going with your exercises and that they are being done correctly and will then flow into treatment.

Do I need a referral to be seen at the clinic?

No, you do not need a referral to be seen at our clinics. The only time that you would need a referral is if you would like us to write a letter back to your dentist/GP or you would like to be seen under the Chronic Disease Management Plan, CTP insurance or Workcover.

What to bring to your first appointment

If you have been given a referral, please bring this along to your initial consultation. If you have had any x-rays of the area being treated, please bring them along.

How many treatments will I need?

This is a tricky question and it all depends on the nature of your condition. In your first session our primary goal is to establish a diagnosis and determine a treatment plan. By the third treatment, our expectation is that we will have a good understanding whether you are responding appropriately to treatment. At this point we will prescribe an ongoing treatment plan to best suit your needs and continue to develop self-management strategies that will empower you to manage your condition. If there is no positive change by this point, we will re-evaluate your diagnosis or make an appropriate onward referral. At all times, our goal is to optimise your long-term results and we will always be open with our expectation of your final outcome.

Do you see patients under Medicare?

We do not offer Medicare rebates for physiotherapy, unless the patient is being referred by their GP under the Chronic Disease Management Plan (CDM). If you have been referred to our practice by your GP under the Medicare Chronic Disease Management Program (Formally known as EPC) please inform our Reception Staff in order that the necessary paperwork can be processed.

At The Headache, Neck & Jaw Clinic, we have the facilities to process the claim for you (provided you are eligible*).

Please be advised that our clinic DOES NOT Bulk Bill under Medicare. You are required to pay for the full fee up front and we can then process your claim and the money will go back into your bank account. If you are not eligible, we ask that you pay our normal fee up front and we then provide you with a receipt, which you can take to Medicare to claim your rebate or upload the receipt to an app on your smart phone and they will transfer the money back into your account.

* To be eligible to claim the rebate in one of our clinics, there are a few things we need to make you aware of. Firstly, if the paperwork has not yet been submitted by your GP or processed by Medicare, your claim will be denied, and this will mean that you will need to claim at a Medicare office or through the smart phone app. Secondly, for our team to process a rebate, you will need to have a Savings or Cheque account card. Medicare do not supply rebates to Credit Cards. Lastly, if you would like us to process your claim for you, please allow adequate time for processing as these claims can take up to 3 minutes. The Headache, Neck & Jaw Clinic reserve the right to decline processing a claim if time does not permit.

What is involved with my Jaw treatment?

When having your jaw treated, we are aware that working with and around your face and mouth can feel confronting. We try and make you as comfortable as we can and massage the jaw muscles to help ease the pain. We will also need to put our hands in your mouth (don't worry, we always wear gloves!) to help stretch out your muscles and ligaments. All this is done only with your absolute permission and only when you are ready.

My dentist recommended a splint. Will it work?

Under the right circumstances, an appropriately fitted splint is a great tool to control pain. However, there is much debate in the dental world about what the right circumstances are. If there are signs of wearing of your teeth from grinding or clenching, then that is a good indication that you will benefit from a splint, but the clinical reasoning is to protect your teeth from further damage, not to control pain. As expensive as an occlusal splint may be, it’s still cheaper than restorative crowns.

If you search the dental journals for scientific evidence, you can find evidence to support the use of a splint to control pain and just as much evidence that contradicts the use of the splint. We believe that this is because the “one size fits all” approach of prescribing a splint for jaw pain is the reason there is debate about the efficacy of an occlusal splint. Jaw pain has many causes and origins and some origins will respond well to an occlusal splint while others won’t. Prescribing a splint as a first choice treatment without proper assessment and diagnosis of your TMJ to determine the origin is not treating the problem, it’s guessing.

We have two strong clinical indicators on whether a splint is required. Firstly, if we have assessed your jaw and objectively measured some restrictions and weakness and then with treatment, we have successfully corrected these restrictions and weakness, (But your pain is not changing) then we will refer onwards for a splint as the source of the pain, can not be musculoskeletal.

Secondly, we will refer for an occlusal splint if we have successfully resolved your pain with manual treatment, exercises and education, and your pain returns once we have stopped treatment (3 months is our rough timeline). This normally indicates your nocturnal habits (clenching/grinding) or your occlusion are the cause of your symptoms and although we can reduce them with treatment, we will need a splint for long term management.

It is hard to give detailed examples and obviously there are far more details, exceptions and exclusions regarding splints than can be expressed in this format.

Can you see me for a back or hip problem?

The answer is yes, we can treat you for other areas of the body however, as our expertise is head, neck & jaw conditions we may not be up to date with other treatment areas relating to other parts of the body. Please advise our reception staff at the time of booking.

How much will my private health cover?

Private Health rebates differ between funds. Please contact your private health insurance and quote the number #500 for an Assessment consultation and #505 for a Subsequent consultation to find out how much they will cover.

Non-attendance Policy

If you are unable to attend your appointment, we require 24 hours’ notice so that we can contact other patients on our waitlist. Failure to provide correct notice may result in a $60 cancellation fee.

What do you treat at the Headache, Neck & Jaw Clinic?

Here at The Headache, Neck & Jaw Clinic we provide treatment for Headaches, Migraines, TMJ, Neck, Vestibular issues (Dizzy) Bells Palsy & Trigeminal Neuralgia.