If you struggle with everyday activities or live with chronic pain, a physiatrist might be the perfect partner for getting your mobility back. If you don’t know what a physiatrist is, you are not alone. Although it’s been an approved medical specialty since 1947, the term isn’t well-known. But, physiatry, or rehabilitation medicine, is a sub-specialty that focuses on function and quality of life. Learn more about why a physiatrist might be the key to improving your mobility. 

What is a Physiatrist? 

According to the Association of Academic Physiatrists, physiatry is a medical specialty that emphasizes the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of people disabled by disease, disorder, or injury. Also known as physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, physiatrists specialize in non-surgical care for many conditions, including nerve, muscle, and bone disorders.

Physiatrists design treatment plans aimed at improving your quality of life and helping you overcome pain or discomfort from:

  • Chronic health conditions
  • Age-related mobility issues
  • Short-term pain from an injury

One of the most effective aspects of the way physiatrists approach diagnosis and treatment is that they look at the whole patient. With extra training, physiatrists aim to rehabilitate the whole person. This means a physiatrist addresses more than just the primary condition to understand additional aspects that could be contributing to the pain or mobility issues. They take a multidisciplinary approach to treatment that may include exercise therapy, rehab therapy, weight management, medication management, joint injections, or regenerative medicine.

When Should You See a Physiatrist? 

It’s hard to know when to seek out additional medical care. But you don’t have to live in pain. You should consider consulting a physiatrist if you:

  • Struggle with everyday activities. If you’ve noticed a decline in your mobility or are having issues with your balance, a physiatrist can help determine the cause of your limitations and provide a comprehensive treatment plan.
  • Live with ongoing discomfort. If you find yourself suffering from chronic back pain, neck pain, arthritis, or neuropathy, a physiatrist is a great option to find non-surgical solutions.
  • Can’t fully recover from an injury. After a sports injury or surgery, getting back to normal takes time. But if you find you aren’t obtaining the strength or function you expected, a physiatrist can uncover treatment options you haven’t considered that may help you recover faster or more fully.

Check out this video for more information on physiatry and the different treatment options that come with this integrated approach.

Maximize Function with a Physiatrist 

Our own Dr. Marciello has been a practicing physiatrist since 1998. He obtained his board certification in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation after completing a medical internship at UMass Medical Center and completing his residency training at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston. As a physiatrist at Maragal Medical, he provides outpatient, non-surgical approaches to neck and back spinal conditions. Dr. Marciello takes a multi-disciplinary and integrative team approach that can include therapeutic exercise, injection techniques, imaging, and nerve conduction studies. Contact our office today to make an appointment and see if physiatry is the answer you’ve been looking for to regain the function you deserve.