Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Our Specialties

PM&R or Physiatry

Description

Physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R), or physiatry, is one of 24 medical specialties certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties. This branch of medicine emphasizes the prevention, diagnosis and nonsurgical treatment of disorders related to nerves, muscles and bones that affect movement.

PM&R physicians (also referred to as rehabilitation physicians or physiatrists) specialize in injuries, illnesses and disabling conditions that may produce temporary or permanent impairment. Through the development of a comprehensive program of nonsurgical treatment, PM&R physicians focus on reducing pain, enhancing performance, and enabling patients to stay as active as possible, at any age. By considering the whole person instead of a single symptom or problem, the physiatric approach to treatment and care helps patients put the pieces of their lives back together—not just medically, but also socially, emotionally and vocationally—after injury or disease.

Patients with a wide variety of conditions or disorders benefit from PM&R, including:

  • Pain or limited function due to an accident
  • Chronic pain due to arthritis
  • Injury or chronic condition
  • Diminished energy or ability to move easily due to illness or treatment for an illness
  • Recovery from the effects of a stroke
  • Recovery from surgery
  • Problems related to nerve damage
  • Repetitive stress injury, or back problems
  • Health problems or difficulty exercising due to excess weight
  • Inactivity due to age
  • Challenges to physical function due to childbirth, menopause, or other life changes.

Diagnosis

Your PM&R physician will begin by thoroughly assessing your condition, needs, limitations and expectations. The presence or absence of any serious medical illnesses will be determined before an appropriate treatment plan is developed for you. PM&R physicians use a variety of diagnostic tools utilized by other physicians, including medical histories, physical examinations and imaging studies. Special techniques in electrodiagnostic medicine, such as electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies, are also used to diagnose conditions that cause pain, weakness, and numbness.

Treatment

At Shoreline Orthopaedics, we provide integrated physiatric treatment for conditions such as: alignment issues, amputee rehabilitation, back and neck pain, brain and spinal cord injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, cerebral palsy, fibromyalgia, radiculopathies and other nerve issues.

Whether you need to strengthen an injured muscle, get relief from chronic pain, or walk up the stairs without being winded, your PM&R physician will work with you to establish realistic short- and long-term goals. Once your assessment and diagnosis are complete, a treatment plan will be tailored specifically for you. Low-impact activities, physical therapy, use of a brace, medication, stretching, massage, and strengthening exercises are just some of the many elements that may be incorporated into a plan designed to help you achieve the highest possible quality of life.