Colorado Orthopedic News

physiatry

What is a Physiatrist? And how can they help me?

A physiatrist, which is also known as a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) physician, focuses on the enhancement and restoration of function for people with injuries, including occupational or sports injuries or physical disabilities.

Physiatrists treat numerous conditions related to nerves, the spinal cord, joints, bones, and muscles, including sports and occupational injuries. They focus on non-surgical treatments such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, injections, and other procedures, which can include:

  • Epidural Injections: this help relieve pain in the neck, arm, back, and leg pain often caused by inflammation.
  • Electromyography (EMG): this involves using electrodes to measure the performance of muscles and nerves to determine the source weakness or dysfunction. 
  • Radio Frequency (RF) ablation: which directs radio waves at nerve tissue to reduce pain signals, and therefore pain, from a specific area.
  • Trigger point injections: which use dry needling or lidocaine on trigger points to reduce soft tissue pain.
  • Musculoskeletal ultrasound: to evaluate soft tissue abnormalities and to guide injections.


People who have lost physical function or have chronic musculoskeletal pain due to injury, illness, or disability can benefit from working with a physiatrist.

Physiatrists focus on determining the underlying condition causing pain or limitation and work to treat and support each patient as a whole person. This includes a medical history review and a diagnostic workup, such as a physical exam, x-rays, MRI, ultrasounds, or other imaging.

Once a diagnosis is determined, physiatrists customize treatment plans for each patient to help improve strength, mobility, and range of motion and ultimately achieve or restore function to a specific joint or body part. This can include movement adaptations that allow for more function and other treatment elements that can be implemented independently by patients or with the support of their medical team.

Advanced Orthopedic’s team includes two physiatrists, surgeons, physical therapists, and others that work together to provide patients with individualized care that ultimately improves their quality of life. Our innovative treatment programs incorporate various protocols to support each patient’s specific needs. Do you have chronic pain or an injury that could benefit from our thoughtful approach? The team at Advanced Ortho is here to help. Our offices are conveniently located across the front range, and it’s easy to make an appointment online or over the phone. Contact us today and we’ll connect you with one of our highly qualified physiatrists.

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