Rehabilitation physicians are nerve, muscle, bone and brain experts who treat injury or illness non-surgically to decrease pain and restore function.
Also called physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) physicians or physiatrists, rehabilitation physicians keep people as active as possible for as long as possible.
Their broad expertise and training enable them to treat a range of illness and injuries - from diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation - throughout a person’s lifetime.
Making a diagnosis
Rehabilitation physicians see adults of all ages experiencing a wide range of medical problems that may make it difficult to function at home, in the workplace, or during recreational activities. Successful treatment of these symptoms requires an accurate diagnosis. As specialists, physiatrists use techniques ranging from detailed medical histories and physical exams to imaging studies and nerve conduction studies to diagnose a multitude of medical conditions.
Treating the whole person
Rehabilitation physicians treat people, not just symptoms. They take the time to understand their patients’ ailments and explain treatments they can do for themselves and with medical specialists. By evaluating the impact of a condition on the whole person - medically, socially, emotionally, and vocationally - rehabilitation physicians help their patients understand and take control of their health.
A Team Approach
With a team approach to patient care, rehabilitation physicians help patients on the road to recovery and illness prevention.
Rehabilitation physicians listen to their patients and work with them to develop a customized course of treatment. This may include one or several non-surgical treatments, such as:
- therapeutic exercise
- injections - including joint and trigger point injections
- assistive devices, such as a brace or artificial limb
- botulinum toxin injections