Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation


What Is Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation?

Physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R), also called physiatry, is the branch of medicine emphasizing the nonsurgical prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the nerves, muscles and bones that create pain and impairment. This specialty is a cross between neurology and orthopedics. Common disorders treated by PM&R physicians include neck pain, back pain, sports injuries, herniated disc, pinched nerves and arthritis.

What Can a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist Do for Me?

A Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist can help you maximize what you can already do and teach you how to adapt to what you can not presently do. They can help when pain, weakness or disability is getting in the way of independence. They may do this by implementing treatments may include spinal procedures, such as epidural steroid injections and cortisone injections in joints int he spine. From there it is evaluated if the patient will need physical therapy. If there is absolutely no improvement then the patient may be referred to a surgeon.

When Should I See a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist?

You should see a PM&R after you have seen your primary care physician and the treatments implemented there have not been successful, there has been an MRI done and your primary care provider finds it necessary for you to be seen by a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialist.