What is a Physiatrist?

Physical medicine and Rehabilitation physicians are also known as “physiatrists.” A physiatrist may be a medical doctor (MD) or a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) that specializes in a wide variety of treatments for the musculoskeletal system (or musculoskeletal disorders that cause pain or limit function)– this involves the body’s the muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, other structures and associated nerves. It’s important to note that physiatrists DO NOT perform surgery.

If you’re in pain or have limited function regarding a specific musculoskeletal structure, a physiatrist’s specialty training can help evaluate, diagnose and treat the condition. Physiatrists are experienced in helping patients maximize their capabilities while assisting patients adapt and improve their weaknesses.

Key points of physiatrists:

  • Specialize in pain management, sports, and musculoskeletal medicine
  • Have medical and rehabilitation expertise in the care of patients with traumatic brain injury, stroke, and spinal cord injury
  • Lead a team of medical professionals to maximize function lost through catastrophic illness or injury
  • Offer the unique blend of non-surgical orthopedic and neuromuscular care
  • Offer neurodiagnostic services with specialized training in EMG and nerve conduction studies