Basically, a physiatrist (fiz-EYE-a-trist), also known as a rehabilitation physician, is actually a medical doctor with an expertise in diagnosing and restoring function following injuries or illnesses.
Rehabilitation physicians are experts with nerve, muscle, and bone injuries or illnesses affecting movement. These specialists have completed training in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R). With an awareness of the body as a whole, they can more accurately pinpoint problems, decrease pain, and increase performance without surgery.
Rehabilitation physicians treat a variety of problems including sore shoulders and spinal cord injuries. Physicians take the necessary time to locate the source of an ailment, then design a treatment plan to be carried out by individual patients or with assistance from a rehabilitation physician’s medical team. These teams may include other physicians and/or health professionals, including neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, and physical therapists.
By utilizing appropriate treatment plans, a rehabilitation physician can help a patient stay as active as possible regardless of age. Having a broad medical expertise allows them to treat severe and disabling conditions at any point in one’s lifetime.