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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. Physiatrists maximize what a patient can do and assist the patient in adapting to what he or she cannot. A physiatrist should be consulted when pain, weakness, or disability is preventing a patient from achieving their desired level of independence.

Physiatrists specialize in non-surgical physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) for patients who have been disabled as a result of a disease, condition, disorder, or injury. They diagnose, perform thorough patient histories, treat injuries and conditions, and direct your expanded treatment team using non-surgical methods. Physiatrists focus on a personalized method of treatment to improve their patients' quality of life -- one that involves a comprehensive approach to expand the framework of resources at a patient's disposal. As a result, a patient's recuperation involves every aspect of their lives.

The goal of the physiatrist is to provide medical care to patients with pain, weakness, numbness, flaccidity, spasticity and loss of function so that they can maximize their physical, biological, psychological, social, and vocational potential. Physiatrists direct a comprehensive rehabilitation team of professionals that may include physical therapists, occupational therapists, recreational therapists, rehabilitation nurses, psychologists, social workers, and others. Although physiatrists have been practicing PM&R for over seventy years, their abilities became widely known and utilized during the years of World War II, when many soldiers returned from the war with serious musculoskeletal disabilities.

What Physiatrist Does

      arrow   Treat patients of all ages

      arrow   Focus treatment on function

      arrow   Have a broad medical expertise that allows them to treat disabling conditions throughout a person’s lifetime

      arrow   Diagnose and treat pain as a result of an injury, illness, or disabling condition

      arrow   Determine and lead a treatment/prevention plan

      arrow   Lead a team of medical professionals, which may include physical therapists, occupational

      arrow   Therapists, and physician extenders to optimize patient care

      arrow   Work with other physicians, which may include primary care physicians, neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, and many others

      arrow   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:

      arrow   EMG/Nerve Conduction Studies

      arrow   Ultrasound guided procedures

      arrow   Fluoroscopy guided procedures

      arrow   Injections of spine

      arrow   Discography, Disc Decompression and Vertebroplasy/Kyphoplasty

      arrow   Nerve Stimulators, Blocks and Ablation procedures—Peripheral and Spinal

      arrow   Injections of joints

      arrow   Prolotherapy

      arrow   Spasticity Treatment (Phenol and Botulinum toxin injections, intrathecal baclofen pump trial and implants)

      arrow   Nerve and Muscle Biopsy

      arrow   Manual Medicine/Osteopathic Treatment

      arrow   Prosthetics and Orthotics

      arrow   Complementary - alternative medicine (i.e. acupuncture, etc.)

      arrow   Disability/impairment assessment

      arrow   Medico legal consulting


dr george    
BSc, MBBS, DPMR | Consultant Physiatrist