Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation


Physical medicine and rehabilitation, also known as physiatry or rehabilitation medicine, is a branch of medicine that aims to enhance and restore functional ability and quality of life to those with physical impairments or disabilities. A physician having completed training in this field is referred to as a physiatrist or rehabilitation medicine specialist. Physiatrists specialize in restoring optimal function to people with injuries to the muscles, bones, tissues, and nervous system (such as stroke patients).

Common conditions that are treated by the rehabilitation therapists include amputation, spinal cord injury, sports injury, stroke, musculoskeletal pain syndromes such as low back pain, fibromyalgia, and traumatic brain injury. Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation involves optimizing function in those afflicted with heart or lung disease. Chronic pain management is achieved through a multidisciplinary approach involving psychologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, exercise therapists, anesthesiologist, and interventional procedures when indicated. In addition to the previous methodology, stroke is often treated with the help of a speech therapist and recreational therapist when possible.