Physiatry, known as physical or rehabilitation medicine, aims to enhance and restore function and mobility for patients. The main goal of physiatry is helping patients with disabilities or impairments such as damage to the spinal cord, nerves, joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons, live a higher quality of life.
Physiatrists are trained to accurately diagnose and treat patients with spinal cord injuries, brain injuries such as a TBI (traumatic and non-traumatic), stroke, multiple sclerosis, polio, burns, and musculoskeletal and pediatric problems. Physiatrists often work and collaborate with other health care professionals such as orthopedic surgeons and physical and occupational therapists to manage these issues.
These rehabilitation specialists also manage nonsurgical conditions including chronic pain, orthopedic injuries, spine and back related pain and dysfunction, occupational injuries, and overuse injuries. Physiatrists are typically found in multispecialty practices, with other physiatrists, orthopedic surgeons, and neurosurgeons
While other specialties focus on curing sickness or injury, physiatrists focus on the “whole” person rather than someone’s disability. Optimal rehabilitation from an injury or condition is extremely important in the success of one’s care. This means that unlike other medical specialties, these professionals want to maximize the patient’s chances of living independently, and most importantly, improving their quality of life and function, with the hopes that their overall health will improve. It is important to note, that physical medicine physicians believe that patients who are involved in their own care as much as possible will have a more successful outcome.
For patients with physical impairments and disabilities, the physiatrists are trained and skilled experts in using a patient-centered care approach. They design cutting-edge treatment plans that are comprehensive and customized, collaborating with other integral members of the care team to ensure that the patient has a successful recovery.
To learn more about physiatry, physical medicine, and how it can help with pain and disability, call Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland at (410) 644-1880, or request an appointment online.