Physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) is a physician’s specialty that treats patients challenged with musculoskeletal disorders. Physicians trained in PM&R, called physiatrists, can provide sophisticated care for musculoskeletal disorders that are caused by trauma, a sports injury, disease, congenital disorders or aging.
Sometimes a musculoskeletal disorder arises from a brain disorder, a spine disorder, a work-related injury or a motor vehicle accident. PM&R treatment aims to restore and enhance functional ability. Under a physiatrist’s care, a patient can drastically improve their quality of life if suffering from physical challenges involving the nerves, joints, ligaments, bones, muscles, and tendons. Here, Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics discusses the objectives and benefits of physical medicine and rehabilitation.
Goals of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy
The goals for each patient are designed to suit specific needs. These may include the following:
- Decreasing pain
- Enhancing mobility
- Gaining more independence
- Improving overall functionality
- Improving sports performance
- Learning how to use adaptive tools
Physiatrists work with patients to achieve these goals using a variety of modalities, such as trigger point injections, joint injections, physical therapy, manual therapy, and other techniques. While each patient’s medical conditions may be different, the conservative approach to the care of physical medicine and rehabilitation can be enough to alleviate painful symptoms and return a patient back to a more active, fulfilling life.
Ability to Treat Various Conditions – Without Surgery
Physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists work with patients who suffer from a variety of injuries and conditions, all dealing with symptoms that involve some form of pain, discomfort, reduced or loss of function. Conditions that benefit from this type of treatment include:
- Brain injury or tumor
- Spinal disorders or spinal cord injury
- Pulled ligaments
- Nerve damage
- Muscles or tendon tears
- Joint injuries
- Work-related injuries
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Spinal stenosis
- Degenerative spine disease
- Spine deformities
- Herniated discs
- Congenital disorders
Trained PM&R specialists can help patients manage pain and avoid pain through the methods of stretching plus conditioning. They help patients, through education, from transition to maintaining the benefits of therapy on their own.
Refining Existing Motor Skills and Learning New Ones
When patients suffer debilitating discomfort or pain, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists can not only relieve their discomfort but also work to refine or rebuild important skills necessary for daily living. This may include the following:
A condition may have hindered the patient’s ability to work out without pain, perform optimally in their chosen sport, or simply sit, stand, and walk comfortably. Severely disabled patients may need to relearn how to walk again on their own. Physical medicine and rehabilitation can benefit patients by teaching them how to strengthen the necessary body parts to reach their peak performance or simply how to perform their daily activities.
In situations where there is an injury to the spinal cord or brain, a patient may have lost some of their cognitive skills. This makes it extremely difficult for a patient to problem-solve, concentrate, organize, and memorize. Through occupational therapy, a patient can retrain their brain to focus more and improve mental performance.
Occupational and speech therapist treatments benefit patients with an injury or condition that has made communication challenging. While working with a specialist, patients will learn or relearn how to adequately communicate by speaking, writing, and using other alternative methods.
Through physical medicine and rehabilitation guiding physical therapists, patients can relearn how to perform basic personal tasks. Designed to teach patients how to care for themselves and others, a treatment program can help with bathing, dressing, eating, and other daily activities. This helps give patients the freedom to lead more independent lives, instead of having to rely heavily on others for everyday tasks.
The CNSO trained physiatrists and physical therapist doctors work diligently to customize a rehabilitation medicine treatment program for each patient. These medical professionals have extensive knowledge of musculoskeletal, rheumatological, and neurological systems. Each program is catered to the needs of each individual patient, helping restore their ability to function and achieve their quality of life or performance goals.
Learn More About Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation with CNSO
Patients can receive the quality care they need at Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics. The physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists at CNSO work closely with neurosurgeons, spine surgeons, and other medical staff to provide comprehensive care. To learn more about rehabilitation medicine offered throughout Northern New Jersey including Bergen, Passaic, Essex, Morris, and Hudson counties, contact CNSO today.