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A physiatrist is a doctor who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Developed at the Mayo Clinic in 1936, the specialty is based on an in-depth understanding of how all the body’s systems are connected. Today, these doctors are certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) and play an important role in treating physical disabilities caused by illness or injury. If you’re suffering from pain or movement problems, don’t wait and see if it gets better. Do yourself and your body a favor and see a physiatrist for a personalized treatment plan.

Why is a Physiatrist Different?

The four key areas that set physiatry apart from other specialties include:

  1. Whole-Body Focus
  2. Personalized Treatment Plans
  3. Non-Surgical Treatments
  4. The Team Approach

Whole-Body Focus
A physiatrist focuses on the whole body, not just one joint, organ or illness. Not only does this help treat the pain or loss of function, but also the root causes and side effects.

Personalized Treatment Plans
Your physiatrist knows that every patient is unique—and so is every pain and injury. That’s why they work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that works with your body, your abilities and your desired outcomes.

Non-Surgical Treatments
A physiatrist generally takes a less-invasive approach to treating a patient, because not all injuries require surgery. Treatment can range from stretching and strengthening exercises to steroid injections and pain medication. However, if your injury requires surgery, seeing a physiatrist pre- and post-surgery can speed your recovery and improve outcomes.

The Team Approach
A physiatrist brings together a team of practitioners to help you restore your quality of life, including physical therapists, speech pathologists and vocational counselors. Your team might require seeing other medical specialists, including neurologists, orthopedic surgeons and rheumatologist, for example.

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