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Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R)

People who suffer with bone, joint, muscle and nerve problems can often get better without surgery by consulting with a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation known as a physiatrist. Physiatrists are doctors that specialize in non-surgical treatment of musculoskeletal issues causing chronic and acute pain. Their approach is to treat the whole person, not just the problem symptoms.

Physiatrists are medical doctors who also complete several years of additional training in caring for the musculoskeletal and neurological systems. Physiatrists at our Center for Musculoskeletal Care further sub-specialize in pain medicine and sports medicine. They collaborate with other physician specialists such as neurologists, orthopedists and rheumatologists to provide individualized care for a wide range of conditions.

Center for Musculoskeletal Care offers board-certified, experienced physiatrists who are skilled at prevention and management of a variety of neuromusculoskeletal conditions including arthritis, tendinitis, muscle sprains, back and neck pain and sports-related injuries. They also diagnose and treat balance, walking and general mobility problems. These physicians offer non-surgical treatments such practical home exercises, physical therapy, occupational therapy, equipment such as braces or orthotics, pain management injections and regenerative medicine therapies (also known as orthobiologic therapy).

The time to consider seeing a physiatrist is when pain interferes with your ability to move and participate in everyday activities. Your primary care physician may refer you to a physiatrist for an evaluation to diagnose the cause of your pain, formulate and oversee a treatment plan, or refer you to the right specialist for care. A physiatrist also can be instrumental in helping patients to prevent further injury. In many health insurance plans, a referral from your primary care doctor is not necessary to see a physiatrist.

Examples of conditions that physiatrists diagnose or treat include the following:

  • Arthritis / Osteoarthritis
  • Back and neck pain (pinched nerve, sciatica)
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Joint pain and injuries (ankle, foot, hand, hip, knee, shoulder, wrist)
  • Ligament injuries
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscle strains and sprains
  • Muscle spasms and weakness 
  • Myofascial pain
  • Nerve damage (neuropathy)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Spine disorders and injuries
  • Sports injuries (ACL, rotator cuff, tennis/golfers’ elbow)
  • Tendon injuries (tendinitis, tendinosis)

Physiatrists perform diagnostic testing and treatments that include the following:

  • Electrodiagnostic nerve and muscle testing (EMG/NCS)
  • Fluoroscopically guided injections for pain management
  • Orthobiologic / Regenerative medicine therapies
  • Spasticity management: Botox injections, Baclofen pump
  • Ultrasound guided injections for pain management