If you are experiencing pain or any kind of physical disability as a result of an injury or illness, a physiatrist can be an ideal solution to treat your condition – particularly if you are looking to avoid or postpone surgery.
Physiatrists are physicians who specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation. This is a medical specialty that focuses on diagnosing and treating conditions and injuries that are causing physical impairment or disability.
A physiatrist focuses on the use of nonsurgical treatments to relieve pain and to restore capabilities. Their methods include a mix of techniques, including exercise therapy, occupational therapy, interventional pain management, and orthopedic rehabilitation.
Why Do I Need a Checkup by a Physiatrist?
A physiatrist can be the ideal physician for anyone who wants to avoid or postpone surgery as well as those who may not be candidates for surgery, such as due to age or health restrictions. A physiatrist can diagnose and treat many different health conditions, including:
- Sports-related injuries
- Work-related injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Nerve compression
- Hand and wrist pain
- Pelvic pain
An evaluation by a physiatrist involves a complete medical assessment of your symptoms, level of pain and disability, type of injury or illness, and any neurological problems. They are uniquely qualified to assess how an injury, illness, or neurological and/or musculoskeletal impairment can impact your functional abilities, and to determine what treatment is likely to optimize your level of function and reduce the related pain.
What Happens During the Evaluation?
The first step in identifying your condition is for the physiatrist to perform a detailed physical examination. During the exam, they will evaluate your range of motion, pain levels, pain tolerance, and overall health status.
The physiatrist may order certain diagnostic tests to further assess the injury or illness, pinpoint the areas that need therapy, diagnose how far the condition has progressed, and determine the severity of impairment. Information from these tests can help guide the physiatrist’s recommendation for treatment.
Developing a Customized Treatment Plan
From the examination and diagnostic tests, the physiatrist will then create a customized treatment plan that is suited to your specific requirements. Their goal is to create a truly holistic treatment plan that addresses healing all aspects of your physical health.
PM&R treatments are all nonsurgical, but they aim to provide significant pain relief for long periods of time. Because they do not employ surgery, they all take place right in the physiatrist’s office. A combination of therapies may be necessary to reduce inflammation and restore your mobility.
Treatments can include:
- Strengthening exercises
- Manual exercise rehabilitation (massage therapy and passive exercise)
- Work conditioning and work hardening
- Therapeutic injections to reduce pain and swelling (such as epidural steroid injections, facet joint injections, or trigger-point injections)
- Spinal cord stimulation
- Radiofrequency ablation
- Anti-inflammatory medication
Physiatry in Washington State and New Mexico
If you are experiencing pain and/or disability due to disease or injury, our experienced physiatrists at Lynx Healthcare can help to relieve your symptoms without surgery. If you would like to learn more about your treatment options, talk to our dedicated team of medical professionals who are here to help you make a successful recovery.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at a location near you or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you get back to enjoying an active lifestyle!