Physiatrist – Pain Management and Rehabilitation
As a medical doctor with a specialty in physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R), a physiatrist’s expertise extends across a number of disciplines. This leads them to treat a wide variety of medical conditions that affect the brain, spinal cord, nerves, bones, joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons. Physiatrists obtain continued training and exposure regarding multiple disorders/diseases, new technologies and emerging trends in health care rehabilitation. They are well positioned to identify, propose and develop effective treatment modalities that manage pain and maximize a patient’s level of functioning.
Through working closely with a team of medical professionals including physical and occupational therapists, clinicians and other interventionists, physiatrists center on conservative pain management and rehabilitation that empowers patients in their recovery or disability.
With particular areas of focus in neuro-rehabilitation, pain medicine, musculoskeletal care, sports-related injuries, post-operative care and pediatric functional disorders, physiatrists establish treatments that consider the physiological and psychological well-being of patients. Some conditions include spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, inflammatory myopathies, back pain, joint dysfunction, tendonitis, epicondylitis, stress fractures, carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff pathology and concussion.
Physiatrists also provide post-operative pain management and rehabilitation. They also design specific protocols for those having received organ transplantations, joint replacements, amputations and assistive cardiac devices. In turn, specialized pediatric rehabilitation is advised for patients with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy and Down syndrome.
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Why Choose a Physiatrist?
A number of conditions can lead to damaged muscles, bones, connective tissues and surrounding organs in the body. They can dramatically affect an individual’s quality of life. Whether an injury has resulted in sudden, acute pain or has led to an ongoing, chronic condition, patients benefit from the comprehensive and functional approach taken by physiatrists.
While physiatrists value medication and steroid injections for addressing pain and inflammation, they combine tried and true therapies that are nonsurgical. Ice and heat therapy, exercise, ultrasound and electrical stimulation are a few of the therapies. While some physicians quickly resort to surgery, physiatrists take a panoramic view, considering a patient’s past and present health condition, lifestyle and future goals. Treatment is then customized to steer the patient in the right direction in regard to relieving pain, improving function and advancing their quality of life. Physiatrists understand the connection between physical and mental health, so patient education and counseling are also important components of treatment. For instance, as therapy continues, patients learn about lifestyle and body mechanics, posture, exercises for injury, bone loss prevention and overcoming setbacks. This is while receiving support socially, vocationally and emotionally.
In relation to many conditions, physiatrists have become the intersection among numerous specialties, providing invaluable knowledge, recommendations, treatment and rehabilitation as it relates to multiple diseases, disorders and injuries. Along with their team of medical professionals, physiatrists maintain an emphasis on overall wellness and quality of life.
Contact the Howard Liss, M.D. Rehabilitation Institute to schedule a consultation for you or a family member with Dr. Liss.