What Is Physiatry?

Physiatry is the specialty of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. A physiatrist diagnoses and treats patients with sports injuries or work injuries. They also treat people suffering from degenerative conditions. 

Physiatrists use the traditional tools of medicine to treat and diagnose their patients, but they also use therapeutic exercise for the purpose of preventing, diagnosing, treating and rehabilitating the medical conditions that cause people to experience pain, disability or some sort of impairment. 

This specialty has been gaining popularity because of the aging population in the United Sates. As the population grows older, the need for rehabilitative services also increases. Advancements in medicine have also contributed because more people are surviving various diseases and injuries. People suffering pain from musculoskeletal syndromes are also increasingly seeking the services of physiatrists. Several people are benefiting from the specialty, including the severely impaired as well as the temporarily injured. 

The Duties of Physiatrists

Physiatrists perform nonsurgical procedures that treat their patients’ ailments. One is “electromyography” or EMG that involves the insertion of electrodes into a patient’s muscles. This allows the medical professional to measure how well the nerves and the muscles do their jobs. The purpose of the EMG is so that the medical professional can determine if weakness comes from the muscles’ inability to function properly. 

The EMG also gives physiatrists a way to study a patient’s nerves. The electrodes make it possible for physiatrists to locate an injury within the nervous system. Physiatrists use the ultrasound to determine the extent of musculoskeletal injuries. They can also use this technology to guide their needles as they make injections. They will take advantage of the various types of imaging technologies to diagnose the conditions of the spine, administer injections and perform other treatments. 

A Physiatrist’s Specialties

After someone injures his spine, physiatrists will be the ones to rehabilitate their patients’ spines. Since back discomfort is so common, many people decide to specialize in rehabilitating the spine. 

Another common specialty is the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. Physiatrists prescribe physical therapy and medications for the treatment of this type of discomfort. 

Physiatrists specialize in healing the injuries that occur after patients suffer strokes or other brain injuries. They will follow these patients closely to assure that the treatments are having the desired effect. They also manage the conditions that go along with these injuries, such as the troubles patients have with communicating or their poor memory.