Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Physiatry)
Physiatry is a medical specialty that focuses on restoring function and minimizing pain for patients with impairments resulting from injury or illness affecting the musculoskeletal or nervous system.
What is a Physiatrist?
A physiatrist is a physician who specializes in treating the functional problems associated with musculoskeletal or neurological problems. Physiatrists work with a team of specialists including physical, occupational and speech therapists to restore a patient’s level of physical fitness and independence in mobility, eating, dressing, hygiene and other activities of daily living.
As part of our comprehensive approach to care at UMass Memorial, patients with acute or subacute musculoskeletal pain have access to our physiatrists. Our highly trained physiatrists prescribe treatments and exercise-based therapies to help minimize pain and improve one’s quality of life without surgery.
Physiatry Conditions We Treat in Central Massachusetts
Some other conditions for which physiatrists may provide non-surgical treatments include:
- Gait (walking) abnormalities
- Spinal cord injuries
- Degenerative disc disease
- Herniated disc disease (“slipped disc”)/sciatica
- Multiple sclerosis
- Post-polio syndrome
- Cerebral palsy
- Fractures from weak bones or overuse
Treatment Provided by Physiatrists
In addition to medications and exercise, physiatrists also prescribe devices to improve patients’ ability to function as fully and independently as possible. These include:
- Adaptive/assistive devices
- Custom braces, splints and orthotics
Special procedures and services provided by physiatrists include:
- EMG/nerve conduction studies
- Epidural injections
- Joint injections
- Peripheral motor point blocks (motor and sensory)
- Trigger point injections
- Assistive technology consultations
- Diagnosis of cancer-related impairments
And at our Hand Therapy Center, our team of physical and occupational therapists have specialized knowledge in the treatment of physiatry and provide evaluations and treatments. To schedule an appointment, please call 508-334-8700.