A lifetime of activity: How PM&R teaches patients to help themselves
A physiatrist, or physical medicine and rehabilitation
doctor, specializes in the nonsurgical management of back and neck
pain. While many doctors provide drugs to mask symptoms of pain,
these drugs leave a patient debilitated and dependent upon them for
pain relief. A physiatrist, on the other hand, provides techniques
and treatments that enable back and neck pain sufferers to return
to activity without surgery.
What Is a Physiatrist?
With so many subspecialties in medicine, it is no wonder that many
people do not know exactly what a physiatrist does, even if they
have heard the term. It has become a nationwide trend for highly
respected spine centers to use physiatrists to treat cases of back
and neck pain.
A physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) doctor may use a variety
of tests to diagnose your back or neck pain. Physiatrists may also
use spinal injections for pain relief and for diagnostic purposes.
So What Does That Mean for Me?
Essentially, a physiatrist has unique skills to offer a back or neck
pain sufferer. Instead of masking pain with drugs, a physiatrist
identifies the cause of the pain. They often help patients relieve
pain symptoms without surgery.
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