What is a Physiatrist / PM&R doctor / physician?

Physiatrists are medical doctors who have completed residency training in the medical specialty of physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R). Physical medicine and rehabilitation, also called Physiatry, is the branch of medicine emphasizing the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders – particularly related to the nerves, muscles, and bones – that may produce temporary or permanent impairment. PM&R is one of 24 medical specialties certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties. PM&R provides integrated care in the treatment of conditions related to the brain, muscles, lymphatics, nerve, spine, bones and joints. PM&R Board has six formal sub-specializations:

– Neuromuscular Medicine

– Pain Medicine

– Spinal Cord Injury Medicine

– Sports Medicine

– Hospice and Palliative Medicine

– Pediatric Rehabilitation

The job of a Physiatrist is to treat any disability resulting from disease or injury, from a sore shoulder to spinal cord injuries. The focus is on the development of a comprehensive program for putting the pieces of a person’s life back together after injury or disease – without surgery.

Physiatrists define the source of an ailment and design a treatment plan that can be carried out by the patients themselves or with the help of the rehabilitation physician’s medical team. This medical team might include other physicians and health professionals such as physical and occupational therapists. By providing an appropriate treatment plan, rehabilitation physicians help patients stay as active as possible at any age. Their broad medical expertise allows them to treat disabling conditions throughout a person’s lifetime.

Physiatrist focus on conservative treatments, including customized rehabilitation plans, selective injections, and minimally invasive procedures to achieve patient’s goals. Work with patients of all ages to develop individualized rehabilitation programs that help restore strength, endurance, flexibility, balance, coordination ambulation and mobility. The goal is to help patient become strong enough to manage activities of daily living and be independent and improve quality life.

Rehabilitation Physicians May Treat:

– Amputations/Prosthetics

– Arthritis

– Osteoarthritis

– Rheumatoid Arthritis

– Back Pain

– Brain Injuries

– Cardiac Rehabilitation

– Geriatric Rehabilitation

– Neck Pain

– Nerve Pain

– Radiculopathy

– Ulnar Neuropathy (Wrist Pain in Bicyclists)

– Osteoporosis

– Pediatric Rehabilitation

– Post-Polio Syndrome

– Spinal Cord Injuries

– Sports-Related Injuries

– Stroke

– Women’s Conditions

– Female Athlete Triad

– Pelvic Pain

– Pregnancy and Back Pain

– Work-Related Injuries

To learn more about the types of PM&R treatments available for these conditions, CLICK HERE