Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), also known as physiatry, is a medical specialty that essentially focuses on restoring the functional ability and quality of life of a person who has been affected by a medical condition or an injury. Unlike other medical specialties, PM&R’s focus is not to undo the damage brought on by injury or disease, it is rather geared toward helping patients regain their independence in their activities of daily living and achieve optimal health and the best quality of life possible.
A medical physician who practices PM&R is referred to as a physiatrist. Physiatrists specialize in providing nonsurgical care for patients who are living with painful conditions or who suffered injuries that have impaired their normal, everyday functions. In addition to their standard medical training, physiatrists undergo additional training in pediatric rehabilitation, musculoskeletal rehabilitation, sports medicine, pain medicine, among other PM&R subspecialties. Physiatrists are equipped with a keen understanding of not only how the body functions and the medical problems at play, but also how these problems can have an impact on a patient’s mood, mobility, and overall quality of life.
What Conditions Can Physiatrists Treat?
Physiatrists who focus on pain medicine or musculoskeletal rehabilitation have undergone specialized training in providing care for patients with the following conditions or injuries. Do take note that the ones listed below are just a few of the many conditions treated by physiatrists.
- Ankylosing spondylitis- a type of spinal arthritis
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Myofacial pain
- Osteoporosis- bone loss
- Spinal cord injury
- Workplace injuries
What Types of Treatments and Procedures Can Physiatrists Perform?
A physiatrist diagnoses musculoskeletal problems and injuries by carrying out a thorough assessment of a patient’s medical history and current health status as well as performing a comprehensive physical exam. They may order diagnostic testing, such as X-rays, MRI scans, laboratory testing, and nerve conduction studies.
Based on their findings, a physiatrist will craft an individualized treatment plan, which may consist of any or a combination of the following approaches:
- Physical therapy- integrating passive and active exercises
- Interventional pain management techniques (e.g., facet joint injections, epidural injections, trigger point therapy, regenerative medicine (PRP therapy), etc.)
- Specialized bracing
- Spinal decompression
- Non-opioid medications
- Assistive devices (mobility aids- e.g., walkers, canes, crutches, etc.)
- Massage therapy
Regardless of whether a physiatrist works in a multispecialty practice, they can serve to coordinate their patient’s care with other healthcare professionals and specialists, namely physical therapists, occupational therapists, chiropractors, orthopedic surgeons, and more.
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Blue Springs, MO
At Core Medical Center, our highly qualified physical medicine physicians take a comprehensive, synergistic approach to offer you effective solutions—all geared toward helping you successfully regain your normal function, so you can get back to living your life without pain and physical limitations.
To schedule a consultation with one of our physical medicine physicians, call our clinic today at (816) 427-0201 or use our convenient appointment request form. We look forward to helping you start living your best life!