About Physiatry

What is a Physiatrist?

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) physicians, also known as physiatrists, treat a wide variety of medical conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord, nerves, bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons.  

PM&R physicians are medical doctors who have completed training in the specialty of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), and may be subspecialty certified in Brain Injury Medicine, Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Neuromuscular Medicine, Pain Medicine, Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine, Spinal Cord Injury Medicine, and/or Sports Medicine. 

Specifically, PM&R physicians:

  • Treat patients of all ages
  • Focus treatment on function
  • Have a broad medical expertise that allows them to treat disabling conditions throughout a person’s lifetime
  • Diagnose and treat pain as a result of an injury, illness, or disabling condition
  • Determine and lead a treatment/prevention plan
  • Lead a team of medical professionals, which may include physical therapists, occupational therapists, and physician extenders to optimize patient care
  • Work with other physicians, which may include primary care physicians, neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, and many others.
  • Treat the whole person, not just the problem area 

Depending on the injury, illness, or disabling condition, some PM&R physicians may treat their patients using the following procedures/services:

  • EMG/Nerve Conduction Studies
  • Ultrasound guided procedures
  • Fluoroscopy guided procedures
  • Injections of spine 
  • Discography, Disc Decompression and Vertebroplasy/Kyphoplasty
  • Nerve Stimulators, Blocks and Ablation procedures—Peripheral and Spinal
  • Injections of joints
  • Prolotherapy
  • Spasticity Treatment (Phenol and Botulinum toxin injections, intrathecal baclofen pump trial and implants)
  • Nerve and Muscle Biopsy
  • Manual Medicine/Osteopathic Treatment
  • Prosthetics and Orthotics
  • Complementary-alternative medicine (i.e. acupuncture, etc.)
  • Disability/impairment assessment
  • Medicolegal consulting