Doctors in Physical Medicine are also called Physiatrists and focus on improving function and quality of life. A Physiatrist (fizz ee at’ trist), treats a wide range of problems from sore shoulders to spinal cord injuries. They see patients in all age groups and treat problems that touch upon all the major systems in the body. Physiatrists focus on restoring function, allowing us to be at our best in our jobs, with our families and in our recreation.
How we can help
Physiatrists care for patients with acute and chronic pain, and musculoskeletal problems like back and neck pain, tendonitis, pinched nerves and fibromyalgia. They also treat people who have experienced catastrophic events resulting in paraplegia, quadriplegia, or traumatic brain injury; and individuals who have had strokes, orthopedic injuries, or neurologic disorders such as multiple sclerosis, polio, or ALS. They may see a person who lifts a heavy object at work and experiences back pain, a basketball player who sprains an ankle and needs rehabilitation to play again, or a knitter who has carpal tunnel syndrome. Physiatrists’ patients include people with arthritis, tendonitis, any kind of back pain, and work- or sports-related injuries.
Physiatrists also treat serious disorders of the musculoskeletal system that result in severe functional limitations. They would treat a baby with a birth defect, someone in a bad car accident, or an elderly person with a broken hip. Physiatrists coordinate the long-term rehabilitation process for patients with spinal cord injuries, cancer, stroke or other neurological disorders, brain injuries, amputations, and multiple sclerosis.