A physiatrist is a medical doctor who treats medical conditions that can cause pain or limit function. Also called physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) physicians, physiatrists provide a full spectrum of care — from diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation — to restore maximum health and quality of life.
Making a Diagnosis: Physiatrists see patients of all ages experiencing a wide range of problems — from sore shoulders to muscle weakness — that may make it difficult to function at home, in the workplace or during recreational activities. Successful treatment of these symptoms requires accurate diagnosis. As specialists, physiatrists use techniques ranging from detailed medical histories to nerve conduction studies to diagnose a multitude of medical conditions.
Treating the whole person: Physiatrists treat people, not just symptoms. By evaluating the impact of a condition on the whole person — medically, socially, emotionally and vocationally — physiatrists help their patients understand and take control of their health.
Coordinating care: Physiatrists listen to their patients and work with them to develop a customized course of treatment. This may include one or several non-surgical treatments, such as:
- Therapeutic exercise
- Injections (facet blocks, nerve blocks, epidural injections, Neural Prolotherapy, prolotherapy, joint injections, trigger point injections)
- Assistive devices, such as a brace or artificial limb
- Heat and cold therapy
- Biofeedback and electrotherapies
If surgery is necessary, physiatrists work with patients and their surgeons beforehand, and coordinate their care afterward. Physiatrists help patients achieve a successful recovery by working with other physicians, such as neurologists and orthopedic surgeons, and health professionals, like physical and occupational therapists, speech pathologists and psychologists. Restoring Maximum Function
Physiatrists treat conditions of the bones, muscles, joints, brain and nervous system, which can affect other systems of the body and limit a person's ability to function.
A Physiatrist treats: Back pain ♦ Sports injury ♦ Workplace injury ♦ Stroke rehabilitation ♦ Spinal cord injury ♦ Chronic pain ♦ Brain injury ♦ Neck pain ♦ Arthritis ♦ Cerebral palsy ♦ Multiple sclerosis ♦ Disabling conditions ♦ Carpal tunnel syndrome And more.