Physiatry can be defined as Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R). It is a medical specialty that focuses on diagnosis and treatment of chronic and acute pain, weakness and numbness. Physiatrists are doctors that have completed four years of medical school with a specialty focus in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Individuals suffering from bone, joint, muscle, ligament, nerve and spinal cord impairments may benefit from working with a physiatrist.
Once you have been diagnosed either by a medical doctor such as an orthopaedic surgeon or primary care physician, a physiatrist can offer a number of non-surgical interventions to treat your symptoms. What exactly can a physiatrist do to treat your physical impairments?
Treatment Services Offered by a Physiatrist
- Injections (spinal and other types) using fluoroscopic guidance
- Spasticity management
- Joint injections
- Trigger point injections
- Nerve conduction studies (NCS) and electromyography (EMG)
- Medication prescription
In addition to medical interventions, physiatrists also work with a team of other medical and non-medical professionals to ensure the best treatment plan. Focused on improving the overall quality of life of their patients, physiatrists aim at restoring the patient’s functional ability. Physiatrists often work with orthopaedic surgeons, social workers and physical therapists to coordinate a comprehensive approach to treatment.
Benefits of Working With a Physiatrist
- Treatment is focused on the whole person, not just the symptom
- Coordinated approach to take into consideration the treatment recommendations of other professionals
- Address pain and weakness with non-surgical interventions
Whether your physical impairments are the result of an injury, medical condition or disability, a physiatrist can help develop a treatment plan to meet your individual needs. Be sure to check with your insurance provider to see which physiatrists in your area will be covered under your plan.
Looking for a Physiatrist in the St. Louis area? Click here for more information on Dr. Andrew Wayne of Agility Orthopaedics.