How Physical Medicine Can Help You

Sep 01, 2021

Through a holistic and multi-faceted approach to care, physical therapy focuses on how a patient’s condition can affect every aspect of their life, which includes their role in the workplace, at home, and other everyday activities. Hence, Physiatry combines physical therapy and pain treatments to help patients avoid surgery.

The branch of medicine that is dedicated to the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of disabilities relating to the brain, nerves, bones, and muscles is called Physical Medicine, or Physiatry.

To maximize physical functioning, to greatly decrease or even eliminate pain, to foster independence, and generally improve the quality of life for those suffering from a disability, chronic pain, and physical impairments, physical therapy is key.

Who Is A Physiatrist?

A physiatrist, or a Physical Medicine Specialist, is trained in an accredited residency program for 4 years after medical school and will become proficient in treating patients who have had injuries, disabilities that affect their physical and cognitive functioning. These specialists work via a combination of physical therapy treatments, and a host of other procedures to treat a variety of disorders.

When Do You Need A Physiatrist?

You would benefit from treatment at a physiatrist if:

You suffered an injury causing you pain and/or impedes your physical functioning.

You have limited physical functioning and pain from an illness, disability, or treatment for a particular illness.

You are experiencing chronic pain in the back, neck, and pain from a repetitive stress injury, or arthritis.

You have limited physical functioning having experienced a stroke or other nerve damage.

You are recovering from recent surgery or you are contemplating surgery as a means to diminish chronic pain.

Conditions Managed By A Physiatrist.

Dr. Kelechi Azuogu is a Physical Medicine Specialist who runs a Family health clinic in Cypress Tx. You can visit the health clinic at 77433 if you need the services of a physiatrist for the following conditions:

What are the most common medical conditions treated by a physiatrist?

Physiatrists diagnose and treat a variety of patients with many types of disorders such as:

  • Back and neck pain
  • Strokes
  • Brain and Spinal cord injuries
  • Sports injuries and Neuromuscular disorders
  • Arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Herniated disc and a pinched nerve in the neck or back
  • Sciatica and Fibromyalgia
  • Work injuries
  • Parkinson’s disease, Multiple sclerosis, and Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Cancer rehabilitation
  • Pelvic floor disorders
  • Amputees

To provide smooth and seamless patient-centered care, Physiatrists get to work and collaborate closely with other caregivers such as family physicians, occupational health physicians, Orthopaedic surgeons, cardiologists, oncologists, neurosurgeons, and neurologists amongst others.

How Do Physiatrists Diagnose Patients?

Physiatrists use techniques such as electrodiagnostic medicine, and nerve conduction studies in addition to the usual diagnostic tools used by physicians i.e., medical history, physical examinations, and imaging studies. These specialized diagnostic tools help the physiatrist make a diagnosis on nerve conditions causing pain, weakness, and numbness that could lead to physical impairment like carpal tunnel syndrome and pinched nerve (or radiculopathy) in the spine.

Treatments And Procedures Performed By A Physical Medicine Specialist.

The following diagnostic tests and treatments are recommended, prescribed, and performed by Physiatrists:

  • Therapeutic exercises
  • Prosthetics/orthotics
  • NCS (nerve conduction studies)
  • Interventional spinal therapeutics
  • Spasticity management
  • Soft tissue injections
  • Joint injections
  • Spine injections
  • Musculoskeletal ultrasound
  • Pain medications
  • EMG (electromyography)

If you need such services offered by physical medicine near you, you can call visit the Health Clinic at 77433 for top-notch physiatry.

It is important to make a distinction between a Physiatrist from a physical therapist. Recall that Physiatrists are medical doctors who have gone through medical school and have completed training in the specialty field of physical medicine and rehabilitation and thus can diagnose illnesses, come up with treatment protocols and also prescribe medications. A physical therapist is not a medical doctor and cannot prescribe medications but supervises and institutes exercise programs aimed at ameliorating symptoms and improving function by carrying out the treatment protocols prescribed by physiatrists and other physicians for the patient.

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