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What is a Physiatrist?

physiatrist analyzing foot injury

Physiatrists, or rehabilitation physicians, are nerve, muscle, and bone experts who treat injuries or illnesses that affect how you move. Physiatrists are medical doctors who have completed training in physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R). A physiatrist:

  • Diagnoses and treats pain
  • Restores maximum function lost through injury, illness or disabling conditions
  • Treats the whole person, not just the problem area
  • Leads a team of medical professionals
  • Provides non-surgical treatments
  • Explains your medical problems and treatment/prevention plan

The focus is on the development of a comprehensive program to put the pieces of a person’s life back together after injury or disease – without surgery.

Physiatrists take the time needed to accurately pinpoint the source of an ailment. They then design a treatment plan that can be carried out by the patients themselves or with the help of the physiatrist’s medical team. This medical team might include other physicians and health professionals, such as neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, and physical therapists

A physiatrist’s treatment focuses on helping the patient become as functional and pain-free as possible in order to enjoy life as fully as possible.

The information provided in this blog by HSS and our affiliated physicians is for general informational and educational purposes, and should not be considered medical advice for any individual problem you may have. This information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a qualified health care provider who is familiar with the unique facts about your condition and medical history. You should always consult your health care provider prior to starting any new treatment, or terminating or changing any ongoing treatment. Every post on this blog is the opinion of the author and may not reflect the official position of HSS. Please contact us if we can be helpful in answering any questions or to arrange for a visit or consult.