Physical Medicine & 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.
PM&R physicians evaluate and treat injuries, illnesses, and disabilities. They are experts in designing comprehensive, patient-centered treatment plans. Physiatrists utilized cutting-edge as well as time-tested treatments to maximize function and quality of life. Physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) also known as physiatry, or rehabilitation medicine aims to enhance and restore functional ability and quality of life to those with physical impairments or disabilities affecting the brain, spinal cord, nerves, bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Unlike other medical specialties that focus on a medical “cure,” the goals of the physiatrist are to
maximize patients’ independence in activities of daily living and improve quality of life. Physiatrists are experts in designing comprehensive, patient-centered treatment plans, and are integral members of the care team.
PM&R Physicians are medical doctors who have completed training in the specialty of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) and may be subspecialty certified in Brain Injury Medicine, Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Neuromuscular Medicine, Pain Medicine, Pediatric Rehabilitation, Spinal Cord Injury
Medicine, and/or Sports Medicine. Specifically, PM&R Physicians:
• Treat patients of all ages
• Focus treatment on function
• Have broad medical expertise that allows them to treat disabling conditions throughout a
• Diagnose and treat pain as a result of an injury, illness, or disabling condition
• Determine and lead a treatment/prevention plan
• Lead a team of medical professionals, which may include physical therapists, occupational
therapists, and physician extenders to optimize patient care.
• Work with other physicians, which may include primary care physicians, neurologist, orthopedic
surgeons, and many others.
• 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 or services:
• EMG/Nerve Conduction Studies
• Ultrasound guided procedures
• Fluoroscopy guided procedures
• Injections of the spine
• Disc Decompression
• Nerve Stimulators, Blocks, Ablation procedures
• Joint Injections
• Spasticity Treatment
• Nerve and Muscle Biopsy
• Manual Medicine and Osteopathic Treatment
• Prosthetic and Orthotics
• Complementary – Alternative medicine such as Acupuncture
• Disability and Impairment Assessment
• Medicolegal Consulting
PM&R physicians practice in a variety of clinical settings. They have a broad range of knowledge including musculoskeletal, neurological, rheumatological, and cardiovascular systems. Some of the common diagnoses and populations have seen by outpatient physiatrists include orthopedic injuries, spine-related pain, and dysfunction, occupational injuries and overuse syndrome, neurogenic bowel and bladder, pressure sore management, spasticity management, and chronic pain.