Osteopathic Medicine in Alexandria, VA
Founded in the late 1800s by Andrew Taylor Still, a medical doctor who believed the prevailing medical practices of his time were doing more harm than good, osteopathy is a branch of the medical profession distinct from traditional medicine. It offers many of same benefits of its counterpart (prescription medicine, surgery and the use of technology to diagnose disease and evaluate injury) but adds hands-on diagnosis and treatment through a system of therapy known as Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine. Through this system, practitioners of osteopathic medicine emphasize the prevention of disease with a focus on the "whole person." They believe that treatment should focus on facilitating the body's innate ability to heal itself. Osteopathic physicians work to understand all the components that influence your health status, including lifestyle habits and environment, rather than treating you symptomatically.
Are you interested in receiving treatment from a medical professional who is trained to listen, and to consider your entire body's interconnected functions instead of merely treating individual symptoms? Contact a qualified healthcare practitioner in Alexandria that specializes in osteopathic medicine, call (703) 822-5003 or contact Proactive Wellness Center online.
Osteopathic Medicine vs Traditional Medicine: What Distinguishes an Osteopathic Doctor?
It is not unreasonable to desire the best in patient care when considering one's health. The prevention of disease as well as the maintenance of one's health plays an important part in supporting longevity. There is a plethora of professionals that make up the field of medicine, creating a number of questions including distinctions between practitioners' training, such as in osteopathic medicine vs traditional medicine.
A practitioner of osteopathy, known as an osteopathic doctor, earns a Doctor of Osteopathy (or D.O.), which involves similarly stringent training and licensing to that of a medical doctor. Furthermore, osteopathic practitioners are fully licensed to prescribe medicine and practice all medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties.
The distinction which makes an osteopathic physician, however, is what defines their unique philosophy: in addition to being trained with a comprehensive medical education comparable to a traditional medical education, osteopaths are trained to focus on the whole person, working with individual patients to provide a high level of wellness by focusing on health promotion and disease prevention. Unlike their traditional M.D. counterparts, they receive supplementary training in osteopathic manipulative medicine--the namesake of their title which is a system of hands-on diagnosis and treatment focusing specifically on the musculoskeletal system. With this system, osteopathic doctors are trained to understand the body's interconnected nature. This means that they believe that, if one part of the body is restricted, then the entire body is compromised. Using a broad range of gentle hands-on techniques, which includes soft tissue stretching, deep tactile pressure and mobilization or manipulation of the joints, osteopathic care can improve mobility and structural stability of the body, in turn improving systems such as the circulatory, nervous and lymphatic systems to function more effectively. They also promote practicing good health behavior such as proper sleep and nutrition to improve and support your body's overall function.
Osteopathic Treatment: What Can I Expect?
Your initial visit to an osteopathic doctor is similar to that of a medical doctor. A complete medical history will be taken, as well as questions asked about lifestyle, diet and emotional status. This will include all current symptoms you are experiencing, as well as past experiences of trauma (even if they do not seem to relate to your current medical problem).
You will likely be asked to perform simple movements so your osteopath can observe how you use your body, and identify visual mobility impairment as well as evaluate posture. Your osteopath will assess the structure of your spine, joints, muscles and tendons, referring to blood tests or X-rays to confirm their preliminary findings. They will then recommend treatment, which may include techniques such as soft tissue stretching (which can improve blood flow and flexibility of your joints and muscles), articulation (to mobilize joints through their full range of motion) and muscle energy (to release tightness on muscles). In keeping with their tradition of facilitating the body's natural healing process, they will also likely recommend dietary changes, physical activity and other lifestyle adjustments to support improved body function. They may also work in conjunction with a general practitioner, dentist, podiatrist or other healthcare professional who may be recommended by referral.
You should never ignore pain as it could indicate an underlying health problem. An osteopath can help assist you to optimize your health. Contact a qualified healthcare practitioner in Alexandria that specializes in osteopathic medicine. Call (703) 822-5003 or contact Proactive Wellness Center online.
Proactive Wellness Center
Address8229 Boone Blvd
Vienna, VA 22182
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tue: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wed: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thu: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Fri: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm