Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation:
What is Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation?
Also known as PM&R or physiatry, our specialty treats a wide spectrum of disabling injuries and illnesses, primarily neurologic and musculoskeletal disorders. Among the conditions we handle are lower back and neck pain, upper extremity repetitive strain injuries, stroke, brain injury and spinal cord injury. Treatment of such conditions requires that we have an understanding of several other specialties, including rheumatology, neurology, orthopedics and sports medicine.
The major goal of physiatric treatment is to restore function and thereby improve quality of life, even if there is no definitive cure for the underlying condition. We emphasize functional progress - such as improvement in movement or strength - as well as techniques to reduce the impact of pain and other disabling symptoms. When injuries affect patients' ability to work, we strive to keep them working in a modified capacity, which often makes overall recovery easier.
We use many types of treatment to restore function, including:
- Pain control measures to help patients participate more fully in the rehabilitation program
- Electrical stimulation
- Therapeutic injections to control pain and inflammation
- Therapeutic exercise to re-gain flexibility, strength and endurance
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