FAQ | Ben Cohen Osteopathy
Our FAQ page contains the most recent changes we have made in the clinic for your safety as we continue to treat patients throughout the national lockdown. Information about what Osteopathy is, what common conditions Osteopaths treat, what to expect when you come and see an Osteopath and much more can be found here. Your safety and health is of the upmost importance to us which is why we have taken every precaution to minimise the risk of infection and help keep you safe.
An overview of the changes we have made:
All patients will have been screened via a risk assessment and clinical judgment made as to whether we are able to treat you at this time.
Your temperature will be taken on arrival as an additional measure.
We are asking all of our patients to arrive promptly at their appointment time as we will be allocating 15 minutes in between patients to thoroughly sanitise and disinfect the clinic. Patients must only enter at the time of their appointment to allow for this.
On arrival you will be asked to sanitise your hands and will be required to wear a mask on arrival and throughout the duration of your appointment.
Your Osteopath will be wearing disposable gloves which are changed after every patient, as well as a surgical mask.
The treatment room will be aired in between appointments.
All surfaces will be disinfected after every patient has left the clinic room and before the next patient enters the room - this includes door handles, the sanitising pump and any other surfaces you could have come in to contact with in the clinic.
We have swapped our treatment couch covers and pillow cases for plastic ones which means that they too can be sanitised between patients.
What can I expect on my first visit to an Osteopath?
At the first consultation, the Osteopath will compile a full case history of your symptoms, as well as asking for information
about your lifestyle and diet. The Osteopath may also observe you making some simple movements to help them make a diagnosis.
You will usually be asked to remove some clothing near the area of the body to be examined.
Osteopaths are trained to examine areas of the body using a highly-developed sense of touch, known as palpation, to determine conditions and identify the body's points of weakness or excessive strain. Osteopathy is a 'package' of care that includes skilled mobilising and manipulative techniques, reinforced by guidance on diet and exercise.
The Osteopath will discuss with you the most appropriate treatment plan, estimating the likely number of sessions
needed to treat your condition effectively. If the Osteopath thinks that your condition is unlikely to respond to osteopathic treatment,
you will be advised about how to seek further care. Osteopaths are skilled in diagnostic techniques and trained to identify when a patient needs to be referred to a GP.
Can I see an Osteopath through the NHS?
Currently, access to Osteopathy on the NHS is limited, but services are becoming more widespread as commissioning authorities recognise the benefits of providing osteopathy to patients. To find out if NHS treatment is available in your area, speak to your GP and/or contact your local primary care trust.
Can I claim on my private medical insurance?
Many private health insurance policies provide cover for osteopathic treatment. It may be possible to claim for a course of treatment but you should check in advance with your insurance company before seeking Osteopathic treatment,
in order to confirm the available level of cover and whether you will need to have a referral from your GP or a specialist.
What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a primary care profession, focusing on the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal disorders, and the effects of these conditions on patients' general health.
Using many of the diagnostic procedures applied in conventional medical assessment, Osteopaths seek to restore the optimal functioning of the body, where possible without the use of drugs or surgery. The human body has an amazing capacity to repair and recover, and it is the Osteopath's job to help remove any barriers to that process. In short, an Osteopaths aim is to
help restore optimal function, but more importantly, prevent pain returning and injuries from reoccurring.
Osteopaths' patient-centred approach to health and well-being, means they consider symptoms in the context of the patient's full medical history, as well as their lifestyle and personal circumstances. This holistic approach ensures that all treatment is tailored to the individual patient.
What do Osteopaths treat?
Osteopathy focuses on the diagnosis, management, treatment and prevention of musculoskeletal and other related disorders without the use of drugs or surgery. Commonly treated conditions include back and neck pain, postural problems, sporting injuries, muscle
and joint deterioration, restricted mobility and occupational ill-health.
Do I need a GP referral to see an Osteopath?
Most patients 'self refer' to an Osteopath for treatment. Although referral by a GP is not necessary, patients are encouraged to keep both their GP and Osteopath fully informed, so that their medical records are current and complete, and the patient receives the best possible care from both healthcare practitioners.
Do GPs refer their patients to Osteopaths?
Yes. GPs refer patients to osteopaths where they believe this intervention would be beneficial. Referral guidelines are provided by
the General Medical Council.
How do I know if an osteopath is registered?
All osteopaths must be registered with the General Osteopathic Council. You can use the Register to check whether your health professional is currently registered.
Can anyone call themself an Osteopath?
The title 'Osteopath' is protected by law, and only those included on the Register are entitled to practise as Osteopaths. Unregistered practice is a criminal offence in the UK.
What training do Osteopaths have?
Undergraduate students follow a four or five-year degree course combining academic and clinical work. Qualification generally takes the form of a bachelor’s degree in osteopathy – a BSc(Hons), BOst or BOstMed – or a masters degree in Osteopathy (MOst). Many Osteopaths continue their studies after graduating.
Osteopaths are required to update their training throughout their working lives. They must complete at least 30 hours of Continuing Professional Development per year.
Is there disabled access?
At Ben Cohen Osteopathy, wheelchair users may use an alternative entrance if mentioned when booking. Whilst this does not have a ramp, the step is low, wide and useable with assistance.
What is the difference between Osteopaths, Chiropractors and Physiotherapists?
Chigwell Osteopaths are Musculo-skeletal specialists, meaning that they are trained in the diagnosis, assessment and treatment of a wide range of conditions affecting the muscles, ligaments, nerves and joints of the entire body. Our Osteopaths in Chigwell follow the principle that, “The body is a unit” meaning that everything in your body works as one. Osteopaths will use a range of massage, stretching, mobilisation, and joint manipulation to improve muscle function and joint movement. They may also prescribe specific exercises and stretches to help with posture and encourage the rehabilitation process.
Qualification - 4 years Masters Degree
Chiropractors follow the principle that if there is misalignment in the spine this can affect the rest of the body. They place a large emphasis on spinal correction to improve movement.
Qualification - 4 years Masters Degree
Physiotherapists place a great deal of emphasis on exercise prescription and are a lot less “hands on” than Osteopaths or Chiropractors. Private Physiotherapists may also use massage techniques and mobilisation.
Qualification - 3 years Batchelors Degree
So when should you see an Osteopath?
If you are suffering from any of the following it is always best to seek professional help:
Our Osteopaths in Chigwell can help with -
Back Pain – ‘slipped disc’/disc bulges, Sciatica, Pelvic Dysfunction, Osteoarthritis, Pregnancy-related,
Neck Pain – ‘slipped disc’ , Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Osteoarthritis, Postural
Headaches – Tension-type, Cervicogenic, Posturally-related
Shoulder pain – Rotator Cuff, Impingement, Tendinopathy
Elbow pain – Tennis/Golfer’s Elbow, Peripheral Nerve Entrapment
Wrist pain – Carpal Tunnel, Repetitive Strain Injury
Hip pain – Bursitis, giving way (Labral tear), Osteoarthritis, ITB Syndrome
Knee pain – Meniscus, ligament (ACL, PCL, MCL, LCL), Osteoarthritis
Foot pain / Ankle pain – Ligament, Plantar Fasciitis, Osteoarthritis, Achilles Tendinopathy
A more extensive list of questions can be found on the General Osteopathic Council's website