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Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

What is a Rehabilitation Physician?

A rehabilitation physician, sometimes known as a physiatrist, is a medical doctor with special expertise in treating illnesses and injuries of the nerves, muscles, and bones that affect movement.

The job of a rehabilitation physician is to treat any disability resulting from disease or injury, from sore shoulders to spinal cord injuries. The focus is on the development of a comprehensive program for putting the pieces of a person's life back together after injury or disease – without surgery.

A rehabilitation physician:

  • Diagnoses and treats pain.
  • Restores maximum function lost through injury, illness or disabling conditions.
  • Treats the whole person, not just the problem area.
  • Provides non-surgical treatments.

To become a rehabilitation physician, individuals must graduate from medical school followed by four additional years of postdoctoral training in a physical medicine and rehabilitation residency.

Who Should See a Rehabilitation Physician?

Consider seeing a rehabilitation physician if you:

  • Had an accident or currently have an injury or chronic condition that has left you with pain or limited function.
  • Are contemplating or recovering from surgery.
  • Have an illness or are undergoing treatment for an illness that has diminished your energy or ability to move easily.
  • Are recovering from the effects of a stroke or other problems related to nerve damage.
  • Have chronic pain from arthritis, a repetitive stress injury, or back problems.
  • Have excess weight that makes it difficult to exercise or has caused health problems.
  • Think you’re too old to exercise.
  • Have experienced life changes such as childbirth or menopause that are impeding your physical function.

Conditions We Treat

Our rehabilitation physician can diagnosis and treat a variety of conditions, including:

  • Pain Disorders
    • Headache
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Chronic regional pain syndrome/Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
    • Chest wall pain syndrome
    • Postherpetic (shingles) pain
    • Neuropathy pain
    • Benign chronic pain syndrome
    • Cancer pain
    • Pain associated with medical diseases
    • Post surgical chronic pain
    • Post laminectomy syndrome
  • Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Pediatric Problems
    • Cerebral Palsy
    • Brachial plexus injury
    • Congenital limb deficiencies
    • Congenital/acquired musculoskeletal disorders (e.g., scoliosis, torticollis, hip dysplasia)
    • Congenital syndromes
    • Neurogenerative disorders/Leukodystrophies
    • Spina bifida/myelodysplasia
    • Junior rheumatoid arthritis
    • Neuromuscular disorders/Childhood myopathies - congenital or acquired
    • Torticollis
  • Rheumatologic / Arthritic Disorders
    • Ankylosing spondylitis
    • Pain in autoimmune disease
    • Gout
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Osteopenia/osteoporosis
    • Osteoarthritis
  • Neurologic Disorders / Spinal Cord Injury
    • Brain
      • Traumatic Brain Injury – mild to severe
      • Postconcussion syndrome
      • Hypoxic brain injury
      • Stroke/Cerebrovascular accident
      • Post operative brain injury (function)
    • Spinal Cord Injury
    • Central Nervous System
      • Parkinson’s
      • Multiple Sclerosis
      • Dystonias
      • Leukoencephalopathy
      • Autoimmune (lupus)
      • Infectious Encephelopathy
    • Myopathy
      • Muscular dystrophy
      • Myotonia
      • Myopathy associated with disease or medication
    • Neuromuscular / ALS
      • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
      • Post-polio
      • Myasthenia Gravis
    • Peripheral Nervous System
      • Peripheral neuropathy
      • Bell’s palsy
      • Peroneal drop foot
      • Carpal tunnel syndrome
      • Cubital tunnel syndrome
    • Plexopathies


Orthopedics Services
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physicians

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