Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physicians, known as Physiatrists, are doctors specially trained to restore function and improve quality of life in patients post-injury. Physiatrists are trained in the fields of neurology, sports medicine, spinal injury, brain injury, and pain medicine.
Physiatrists have many tools at their disposal to help diagnose and treat patients post-injury. Commonly, Nerve Conduction testing is performed by a physiatrist to determine the extent of nerve damage post-injury. Ultrasound evaluations are performed to visualize structural injury in real time to determine the impact of injury on dynamic function. Physiatrists will combine findings from a physical exam with these tests, to provide you with an individualized treatment plan. Additionally, physiatrists collaborate with physical and occupational therapy to enhance strength and recovery after injury.
What will my physiatrist do?
The physiatrist is skilled at ordering and supervising patient-specific treatment programs that are cost-effective (modalities and stretching and strengthening exercises) that can reduce patients’ pain in a matter of months vs. years of treatment in some cases.
Physiatrist believes in the shared return to work philosophy early in the course of rehabilitation as it promotes positive patient self-image and limits long-term disability.
Physiatrists are experts at assessing job restrictions to limit further
injury and prolonged disability and if the patients’ medical
condition is severe or reveals a fracture, we will refer patients to
the appropriate surgical specialty.
Physiatrists are trained in residency to perform diagnostic NCV/
EMG and therapeutic trigger point injections to facilitate
aggressive pain relief.
Physiatrist frequently provides rehabilitation to all joints including
but not limited to the neck, low back, knee, ankle, shoulder and
What does physical therapy include?
Because physical therapy includes treatment for so many kinds of
injuries, there are a number of procedures someone may experience
while undergoing rehabilitation.
Here are some of the most popular:
Exercise: Exercise is one of the most common types of physical
therapy treatments. This can include everything from stretching to
actively working the muscle to develop strength.
Ultrasound: While ultrasounds may be most frequently used in
pregnancy, they can also help treat an injury. The ultrasound
waves can penetrate deep to help heal the injury.
Electrical Stimulation: Electrical stimulation can help contract
muscles to help decrease pain. They can also help muscles restore
Massage: Massage can help improve circulation and decrease
tension in the muscles. It is frequently used as part of a physical
therapy treatment plan.
Heat & Ice: Heat and ice is another common treatment plan for
physical therapy. Both hot packs and cold packs can be applied to
injured areas to help reduce swelling, improve circulation, and
Your physical therapist at Injury Doctors NYC will help you create a plan
that works for you.
Physical therapy is traditionally a combination of in-person treatments as well as treatments for the patient to complete at home.