Physiatry is a relatively new field of medicine created within the last 60 years, and it is the practice of physical medicine and rehabilitation. It entails not only the diagnosis and treatment of disabling physical maladies (whether temporary or permanent), but also the prevention of them in the first place.
Its focus is on the patient’s body as a whole – and how the injured area affects and is affected by other parts of the body – as compared to focusing solely on “fixing” the injured body part. It is about patient-centered care, with the goal of enabling them to be as productive a member of society as their infirmity permits them.
What Do Physiatrists Do?
Their area of expertise is how the musculoskeletal system works with the nervous system: the muscles, bones, ligaments, and tendons, as well as the nerves, brain, and spinal cord. While they work with many types of injections, they do not perform surgery – in fact, they attempt to help the patient avoid surgery by providing alternative treatment methods.
Many physiatrists specialize in either the spine, pain management, sports medicine, traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury, or pediatric medicine.
Areas Treated in Physiatry
A physiatrist regularly treats persons with issues such as:
- Back pain
- Injuries to muscles and bones
- Ankylosing spondylitis
Because back pain is responsible for nearly 80% of all work-related injuries, many physiatrists specialize in the treatment of the spine through medication, injections, and nerve ablation. They take a nonsurgical approach to treating problems within the musculoskeletal system by offering a whole-body perspective regarding methods of treatment, and how one system could affect another negatively.
If someone needs surgery, consulting a physiatrist for a before-and-after treatment plan can help speed up the rehabilitation from surgery.
Procedures Physiatrists Perform
Physiatry utilizes many types of noninvasive or barely-invasive techniques in helping a person who is dealing with pain. These practitioners use various injections and therapies to ease pain in the most conservative, least-invasive way possible in an effort to help the patient avoid surgery.
They regularly perform the following:
- Trigger point injections to treat muscle knots
- Spinal cord stimulation to interrupt pain signals and reduce pain
- Nerve blocks to help ease chronic pain caused by a nerve issue
- Peripheral joint injections with a corticosteroid to relieve inflammation
- Nerve conduction studies to establish the location of an injury to a nerve
- Image-guided spinal injections
- Epidural injections
- Radiofrequency ablation
Orthopedic Physicians in West Palm Beach
If you are in Palm Beach County and are dealing with constant pain or musculoskeletal issues, contact our team at Personalized Orthopedics of the Palm Beaches. We offer everything from general orthopedics to physical therapy, on-site scanning services, sports medicine, spinal treatments, and joint replacement.
We even offer concierge medicine for more demanding patients who are dedicated to getting seen, diagnosed, treated, and back on their feet as quickly as possible.
Contact us today by calling (561) 733-5888 or request a consultation online now, and get the personalized orthopedic care you deserve.