A physiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in physical medicine, rehabilitation, and pain medicine. These specialists focus on the body’s musculoskeletal system, which includes bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. Physiatrists treat patients with a variety of problems ranging from simple neck and low back sprains to even more complex disorders or injuries which include motor vehicle collisions.
Physiatry is a non-surgical approach to treating musculoskeletal disorders and injuries. Just as any doctor, physiatrists take the patient’s medical history, perform a physical and neurological examination, can order X-rays or other imaging studies, diagnostic nerve tests, prescribe medications, and perform injections.
Physical medicine and rehabilitation often includes various therapies. The Physiatrist frequently coordinates patient care with other doctors and specialists, such as chiropractors, massage therapists, orthopaedic surgeons, and neurosurgeons.