When treating patients who suffer from various kinds of pain, the physicians take a two-pronged approach – relieving pain and restoring the movement and range of motions that had been impaired due to the condition of pain. The latter part of the treatment revolves around rehabilitating the patient by taking recourse to a medical specialty known as Physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) or physiatry to recover from the injury or disability. The treatment uses physical means to restore and enhance functional ability and quality of life of those with physical infirmities or disabilities affecting the spinal cord, brain, nerves, bones, muscles, ligaments, joints, and tendons.

Who is a physiatrist?

A physician needs specialized training to become a physiatrist, which instead of focusing on medical cure aims at maximizing the patient’s independence in activities of the daily chores and in the process, improve quality of life. To know more about treatments that have close links to physical therapy, look up at the website phyxmept.com.

Tailor-made treatment plans

There are many similarities in the treatment methods of chiropractors, physiotherapists, and physiatrists, and the most prominent one is that it consists of designing a comprehensive treatment plan centered around the patient. The treatment plan considers the overall medical condition of patients to ensure that it meets the needs of the patient to the fullest. Practitioners of physical medicine utilize time-tested and cutting-edge treatments to maximize restoration of the functions that aid movements and improve the quality of life.

Holistic treatment

Physiatrists take a holistic approach in the treatment because they treat the whole person by addressing the physical, emotional as well as social needs of patients during rehabilitation. Physiatrists do not work alone but usually lead a rehabilitation team consisting of physical or occupational therapists, social workers, speech-language pathologists, and athletic trainers.

Physiatrists treat various conditions of pain arising from injury to the spinal cord and brain. By their knowledge about the musculoskeletal, rheumatological, neurological, and cardiovascular systems, they facilitate rehabilitation of patients who have suffered physical disabilities due to stroke or some other medical conditions.

Who needs help from a physiatrist?

Physiatrists are doctors who practice physical medicine and treat patients with pain, chronic disease, and disabilities to help them progress toward regaining optimal function.  The specialty of the treatment is that it relies on the use of therapeutic exercises and physical agents to reduce pain and improve the quality of life while recovering from temporary or even severe impairment. Besides, they assist patients by helping them learn the use of assistive devices such s wheelchairs, walkers, and braces.

To manage pain conditions, PM&R doctors recommend changes in lifestyle like taking anti-inflammatory diets and doing exercises like Pilates and Yoga while addressing mental health and using dry needling. They may use EMG or electromyography and conduct nerve conduction tests to evaluate muscle and nerve function. 

Depending on the diagnosis and the treatment plan, the physiatrist, unlike a chiropractor or physiotherapist, may use medications along with physical therapy and even use spinal injections for pain management.