Physiatry plays an important role in the non-surgical management of most spine conditions. Physiatrists perform electrodiagnostic studies such as nerve conduction and electromyography.
In addition to a diagnostic tests, a physiatrist can administer a number of injections including epidural injections, facet injections, and trigger point injections. These can help to both make diagnoses when the clinical picture is not clear and also treat pain when a diagnosis has been made. Many patients are able to avoid surgery if their pain is controlled with these less invasive injection techniques.
These tests and interventions can help identify if patients have the nerve or muscular disorders.
Physiatrists are specialists in rehabilitation and physical medicine, both of which fall under the medical field of physiatry. As part of their practice, they work to diagnose, treat, and manage the disease through the use of physical therapy and medications. These specialists are experts in the musculoskeletal system, which includes the tendons, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and bones of the body. Through their knowledge, expertise, and practice, they are able to help patients manage their pain and live with as much function and freedom from pain as possible.
The History Of Physiatry and Rehabilitation
While many have never heard the term physiatry, it is a profession with 60 years of history and 8,000 physicians who specialize in its practice. The vast majority of these practitioners work at Spine Centers or Hospitals, much like Comprehensive Spine Care.
The Spine and Physiatry
Within their area of expertise are concerns related to the spine, and they are able to provide treatment for a variety of problems related to the same. The spine is one of the primary focuses of the musculoskeletal system, leading many physiatrists to specialize in its care. Those physiatrists who are focus on the spine tend to lean harder on rehabilitation and injection-based pain management than others. Below can be found a list of conditions that are commonly part of spine-specialized physiatrist care:
- Ligament and muscle injuries
- Lower back pain
- Spinal cord injuries
- Work Injuries
How Do Physiatrists Do Diagnosis?
It all starts with a thorough medical history combined with a physical exam that covers all aspects of the patient’s health. A more in-depth diagnosis will include the use of x-rays, electromyography, MRI scans, psychological testing, and nerve conduction studies. Each of these tests helps to reveal more about the functioning of the patient’s musculoskeletal system that can reveal the presence of injury or disease that is in need of treatment.
What Are the Forms of Treatment Utilized by Physiatrist in Pain Management?
Every patient’s pain is different, and varying pathologies can lead to different methods of treatment being effective. The most typical treatments include one or more of the following treatment styles:
- Active Physical Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Recreational Therapy
- Passive Physical Therapy (Including heat, ultrasound, and ice)
- Massage Therapy
- Back Braces
- Assistive Devices
- Health Psychology
Injections are also used by some physiatrists to treat conditions affecting the joints, muscles, ligaments, and bursae. Specialized injections may be available in the form of facet joint block and epidural injections.
If you want to learn more about how Comprehensive Spine Care utilizes physiatry to produce amazing rehabilitation results in our patients, give us a call at 201-634-1811 today! Our team of specialists will arrange an appointment with our providers at one of our three New Jersey offices. Whether you’re looking for a new treatment because others aren’t working, or are interested in seeing what a rehabilitation based approach to pain management can do for you, call us!