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Physiatry or Physical Medicine?

physiatry and physical medicinePhysiatry is that field of medicine specializing in diagnosing and handling illnesses that affect the ability of a person to function normally. Numerous musculoskeletal conditions relating to pain are manageable through traditional treatment by means of individualized rehabilitation programs to improve mobility and prevent degradation. It also optimizes the condition of a patient before and after surgery.

Brief history: It is believed to have started during the World War II when a medical doctor in the Army Corps used an innovative method in treating injured soldiers. Such treatment included social, psychological and emotional aspects. The work still continues and patients treated are those suffering from traumatic injuries of the spinal cord.

What physiatrists do: They are medical doctors specializing in non-surgical treatment and rehabilitation. The main focus is with regards to the personalized treatment method that necessitates a comprehensive tactic to develop an outline of resources resulting in the involvement of every aspect of the patient’s life.

Required training: A person who would like to be a Physiatrist need to be in a medical school for 4 years to be followed by 1 year internship and finally, 4 years of residency with a year spent in developing basic clinical skills and 3 years training at a hospital for the overall scope of Physiatry.

Recognized specialization: For more than seventy years ago, Physiatry has been put into practice but the unique abilities of physicians were only known and used during World War II thus. It got approved as a specialization in the field of medicine in 1947.

Diagnostic ways: Physiatry utilizes electro-diagnostic medicine to perceive damaged areas of nerves and muscles. It also uses the electromyography (EMG) method to gauge the actual condition of nerves.

Medical conditions treated: Various medical disorders such as musculoskeletal and neurological conditions are successfully treated by a Physiatrist. The main objective is to reinstate the function. Common patients under care would include those suffering from spinal cord injuries, chronic dysfunction, tendonitis or other sports-related disorders.

Patients vary from children to adults. Normally, a Physiatrist works in a team of health care specialists in order to come up with a comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation program that is tailored-fit for a specific patient.

Such specialists are able to add much value to the patient’s life not only through apt concentration and comprehensive analysis and treatment but through helping patients understand their real medical condition.


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