Physiatry, or physical medicine and rehabilitation, is often called the “quality of life profession” because its aim is to enhance patient function.
Our specialists care for individuals with injuries and illnesses of the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems that range from traumatic brain injury to lower back pain, with a focus on restoring function.
Should you see a physiatrist?
After injury or illness, your body may be limited in what it can do. Our team of physiatrists from MedStar Orthopaedic Institute work to restore physical function to bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. We use nonsurgical treatments such as pain medications, steroid injections, exercises, stretching, and mobility aids such as braces or wheelchairs.
Our team includes:
Physical therapists, who can help people improve their quality of life by increasing motion and mobility, eliminating pain, and promoting the prevention of further injury. The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation provides physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language therapy for both adults and children.
Speech language pathologists or speech therapists, who are trained to assess speech and language development as well as treat speech and language disorders. Speech-language pathologists can also help people with swallowing disorders.
Occupational therapists, who help patients engage in meaningful activities in order to restore, reinforce, and enhance the abilities of those impacted by disease and injury. Occupational therapy supports people as they develop the skills to care for themselves, return to work, and avoid further disability.
By taking the whole body into account, physiatrists can accurately pinpoint problems and enhance performance while taking a more conservative approach.
Our physiatrists work closely with the patient’s entire care team, including physical/occupational/speech therapists, nurses, and technicians, to ensure a thoughtful, customized, patient-centered care plan focused on the individual.
They also use both cutting-edge and time-tested protocols to diagnose and treat patients with a variety of medical conditions. Our board-certified physiatrists have extensive experience with state-of-the-art procedures such as electrodiagnostic testing, including nerve conduction studies and electromyography (EMG), which can be powerful tools for diagnosing disorders as well as assessing the severity of such problems.
Treatment plans are customized for each patient’s unique needs and may include injectable medications, assistive devices, and therapies such as the application of heat and ice, electronic muscle stimulation, massage, biofeedback, traction, and exercise.