If you’re researching primary care physicians, the words “osteopathy” and “doctor of osteopathy” might come up over and over again. So what is osteopathy and is that something you should look for when it comes to your primary care physician?

At Healthstar Physicians Family Practice in Newport, all of our primary care physicians practice osteopathic medicine. This post will help you understand the basics when it comes to osteopathy and the benefits of finding an osteopathic provider.


Before we delve into the benefits, it’s important to understand what osteopathy is. According to the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), osteopathic physicians are “fully licensed physicians who practice their unique whole-person approach in every medical specialty. DOs look beyond your symptoms to understand how lifestyle and environmental factors impact your wellbeing.”

In short, osteopathic physicians focus on the entire body and preventative medicine. For some perspective, a doctor of medicine instead focuses more on treatment and diagnosis of disease and less on the preventative aspects of medicine.

But that’s not to say that both doctors of medicine and osteopathic medicine can’t do the same things. In fact, either can function as your primary care physician. For a more in-depth explanation, you can read our previous post about the differences between a doctor of medicine and osteopathic medicine.

Pro Tip: When you’re choosing a doctor of osteopathy, make sure they are accredited by the AOA.

What It Helps

Osteopathy helps with prevention, along with treatment and relief from different conditions, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Headaches
  • Posture problems
  • Localized body pain (i.e. foot, back, neck, and shoulder)
  • Digestive issues
  • Sleep quality
  • Circulation problems
  • Nervous and lymphatic symptoms

Oftentimes, one problem can cause symptoms throughout the body. That’s why it’s so vital that an osteopathic physician considers your entire body when thinking about prevention and treatment. Instead of just treating the symptoms, osteopathy will help you find the source and prevent further damage or pain.

What You Can Expect

Your appointment with an osteopathic provider will seem like your traditional appointment with any other primary care physician.

Osteopathic physicians are patient-oriented. So, during your appointment, your provider will ask questions about your general health to get an understanding of your medical past. This also means that your osteopathic physician will not start any treatments or management during this appointment so they have time to understand your different conditions and concerns.


Since osteopathic providers are patient-centered, we want to help you with different preventative medicine. Common problems, like back pain, are something that can be both treated and prevented with different osteopathic treatments.

Some forms of prevention can include:

  • Exercises to help you stretch
  • Different lifting techniques
  • Better posture
  • Breathing exercises
  • Reducing stress

Many sleep problems are due to pain and discomfort. Working on different forms of prevention can improve that pain, prevent additional pain or damage, and help improve your sleep quality.

Other body functions — including the nervous, circulatory, and lymphatic systems — can also be improved with these osteopathic techniques. If you are worried about these functions and your overall health, ask your osteopathic physician how they can help!

Ultimately, approaching medicine from a preventative point of view can help both treat and prevent conditions.


Are you looking for both treatment and prevention for your pain and other conditions? Then you should find a doctor of osteopathic medicine. If you’re in Newport, get compassionate care from our dedicated team at Healthstar Physicians Family Medicine. Schedule an appointment and get started with osteopathic medicine today!

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