What is a Physiatrist?
Physiatrists, or rehabilitation physicians, are medical doctors that are nerve, muscle, and bone experts who treat injuries, illnesses or disabling conditions that affect how you move. By diagnosing and treating pain, they restore maximum function by treating the whole person, not just the problem area.
Rehabilitation Physicians May Treat:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Back Pain
- Brain Injuries
- Cardiac Rehabilitation
- Geriatric Rehabilitation
- Neck Pain
- Nerve Pain
- Pediatric Rehabilitation
- Post-Polio Syndrome
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Sports-Related Injuries
- Women’s Conditions
- Work-Related Injuries
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R), also known as physiatry, is a branch of medicine which emphasizes the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders related to the nerves, muscles, and bones that often produce temporary or permanent impairment. PM&R physicians manage a wide range of problems, from the most complicated multiple trauma to injury prevention for athletes. The job of a rehabilitation physician is to treat any disability resulting from disease or injury involving any organ system. The physician and the patient work together to maximize the patient’s level of function with the goal of decreasing pain and enhancing performance without surgery.
Through the use of special techniques (i.e. electrodiagnostic medicine) the PM&R physician is able to accurately diagnose conditions that cause pain, weakness, and numbness. Once they have a diagnosis, a treatment plan is developed by the physician that can be carried out by the patients themselves or with the help of an interdisciplinary medical team. This team may include additional specialized physicians and other health professionals such as physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, psychologists and social workers in accordance with the patient's changing needs.
A PM&R physician does not just focus on one part of the body, they develop a comprehensive program for putting lives back together – medically, socially, emotionally, and vocationally – after injury or disease. By providing an appropriate treatment plan, these physicians help patients stay as active as possible at any age and their broad expertise allows them to treat disabling conditions throughout a person’s lifetime.
Riverside Rehabilitation Institute invites you to learn more about our PM&R physicians:
All four of these physicians are members of the American Medical Association and are Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.