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Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation for Different Conditions

If you wonder what physical medicine is and its purpose, this article will help you discover more ways to restore life after injuries. 

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), also called medicine for rehabilitation or physiatry, aims to improve and restore function and quality of life. The physical or mental impairments affect the brain, spine, nerves, bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles.

A physician who completed training in this field is called a physiatrist. Unlike other medical professionals who specialize in medical medicine, the physiatrist's goal is to increase patients' independence in the activities of daily living and improve their quality of life.

Physicians specialize in designing comprehensive, patient-centered treatment programs and are crucial members of the care team. They use high-quality and time-tested treatments to increase their patients' effectiveness and quality of life, who can range in age from infants to octogenarian patients.

What is Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation?

After completing medical school, physical medicine, and rehabilitation physicians receive 4 or more years of training in this type of care. They are also called physiatrists.

Many injuries or medical conditions can affect your ability to work, including

  • Mental disorders, such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, or cerebral palsy

  • Chronic (chronic) pain, including back and neck pain

  • Major surgery on bone or joints, severe burns, or amputation

  • Severe arthritis worsens over time

  • Severe weakness after recovering from a severe illness (such as infection, heart failure, or respiratory failure)

  • Spinal cord injury or brain injury

    Children may need rehabilitation services:

    • Down syndrome or other genetic disorders

    • Mental disability

    • Muscular dystrophy or other neuromuscular disorders

    • Sensory deprivation disorder, autism spectrum disorder, or developmental disorder

    • Speech disorders and language problems

    Physical Medicine Treatments also include sports medicine and injury prevention.

    What conditions and diseases treat a physical therapist?

    Physician and rehabilitation therapist leads a multi-sectoral rehabilitation team that cares for people with a variety of conditions; Physical Medicine treatments include:

    • Bone and joint conditions including ligament injury, fracture, arthritis, osteoporosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, scoliosis, back pain, herniated disc, and neck pain

    • Chronic diseases and conditions that limit or cause pain include birth defects, cancer, diabetes, lung disease, and heart disease.

    • Neuromuscular and nervous system conditions include stroke, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease). Also, neuropathy, pinched nerve, muscular dystrophy, myopathy, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, post-polio syndrome, and myasthenia gravis.

    • Painful conditions include headaches, cancer pain, fibromyalgia, joint pain, postherpetic pain (shingles), and any type of chronic pain.

    • Recovery after surgery includes orthopedic and orthopedic surgery, amputation, back surgery, brain or spinal surgery, organ transplants, and heart surgery.

    • Spinal and brain injuries include fractures, brain hemorrhage, skull fractures, spinal compression, and spinal cord injury.

    • Work-related activities and sports injuries, fall injuries, burns, car accidents, and internal injuries, such as shootings and stab wounds

    What tests do the physical therapist and the rehabilitation doctor do?

    • A physical therapist and physical medicine doctor can order, perform and interpret a variety of tests that include:

      • Electrodiagnostic tests including electromyography (EMG), nerve conduction studies, and somatosensory stimulants for analyzing sensory function and electrical activity of the nervous system

      • General health tests and tests include total blood count (CBC), urine analysis, chest X-ray, glucose (sugar) tests, electrolyte tests, liver and kidney function tests, blood pressure tests, and pulse oximetry (blood oxygen levels)

      • Imaging of X-rays, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) scans, nuclear scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Procedures and treatments

Therapists and rehab physicians devise recovery strategies that include treating patients who can do it on their own or with the help of their rehabilitation team. The treatment plan will vary depending on the condition. The physician also explains what is Physical Medicine to patients to increase effectiveness.

The rehabilitation team may consist of medical professionals, psychologists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, vocational counselors, psychologists, and social workers.


Typical procedures of medications and rehabilitation regimens include:

  • Flexible equipment and auxiliary equipment, including orthotics (shoe covers) or those (braces), prostheses, wheelchairs, and communication equipment

  • Hand treatment includes dislocation, range of motion, stiffness, and sensory distortion.

  • Lymphedema and cancer treatments include strategies to control the adverse effects of cancer treatment and reduce the accumulation of lymphatic fluid.

  • Medications that include painkillers and muscle strength

  • Occupational therapy includes re-learning daily activities, managing arms and hands, checking wheelchairs, and using equipment to operate independently.

  • Physical Medicine Treatments include:

    • water therapy; 

    • soft tissue massage; 

    • therapeutic ultrasound; 

    • chest physiotherapy; 

    • and other exercises to improve strength, mobility, and stamina


    • Physical Medicine and rehabilitation is a kind of team approach. Team members include doctors, other health professionals, patient, and their families or caregivers. 

      Other types of doctors who may be rehabilitation team members are neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, psychiatrists, and primary care physicians. Other health professionals include occupational therapists, physiotherapists, orthopedic surgeons, social workers, artisans, nurses, psychologists, and nutritionists (nutritionists).

chris parker


hello I am a health advisor I am proving medical and health-related information

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