As specialists in physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R), physiatrists treat numerous conditions. These doctors work with other health care professionals to guide the treatment process. Their rehabilitation roadmap ensures everyone on a patient's health care team works together to facilitate a smooth recovery.

Conditions Benefiting From Physiatrist Treatment

Physiatrists treat conditions impacting a patient's ability to function or adversely impact quality of life. The physiatry field is extensive, and doctors who pursue this specialty must be well-versed in various disorders affecting bones, joints, muscles and the nervous system. Because of the broad spectrum of diseases requiring rehabilitation, physiatrists often further hone their skills in a particular subfield.


Let's explore some of the most popular areas of physiatry and the conditions physiatrists treat in these unique subsets.

Musculoskeletal Conditions

Musculoskeletal rehabilitation focuses on impairments or disabilities of the muscles, bones, joints, ligaments and tendons. Physiatrists in this field support the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions like:

  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Arthritis.
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Soft tissue and muscular pathologies.
Neurological Disorders

Physiatrists can also treat neurological conditions that impact the brain or nervous system and cause functional alterations. These include disorders like traumatic brain injuries, strokes, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries and other abnormalities in the brain, spinal cord or nerves.

Chronic Pain

Pain is a confusing and often debilitating symptom. Physiatrists work with patients to diagnose chronic pain, no matter its origin. They then create a treatment plan that offers targeted relief for conditions like arthritis, back pain and complex regional pain syndrome.

Sports and Work Injuries

When someone gets injured on the job or while participating in a sport they love, their first question is often, “How quickly can I return?” Physiatrists treat sports and work-related injuries by addressing the damage itself and working so that patients can return to a reasonable level of functionality.

Pediatric Functional and Developmental Disorders

Conditions like spina bifida, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy impact both the child and their entire family. Physiatrists specializing in pediatric care can guide treatment decisions and safeguard a child's overall well-being.

Post-Operative Recovery

Rehabilitation is vital after a complex surgical procedure, like joint replacement or organ transplantation. Physiatrists guide patient decisions and ensure they connect with the health care specialists needed to make a full recovery.

Prosthetics and Orthotics

Patients who undergo amputation or struggle with disorders impacting their movement may require special assistive devices or prosthetics. Physiatrists work closely with physical therapists so that patients learn to operate medical devices and implement them seamlessly into their life.

How Can a Physiatrist
Help Patients?

Recovery from an injury or disease can be complex. From surgical specialists to physical therapists, rehabilitation often involves many health care professionals collaborating to ensure patients get the necessary help. In cases where a patient has multiple healthcare providers, physiatrists sometimes utilize a care coordination program to ensure that all healthcare providers are working together to provide timely, effective, and efficient care which can help prevent readmissions and improve patient outcomes.

Physiatrists play a unique role in patient care by working closely with a patient's care team to direct treatment efforts. Depending on their specialty, physiatrists can also perform specialized diagnostic tests or treatments requiring advanced training, such as electromyography (EMG) or trigger point injections.


Physiatrists also work to prevent disability and improve the overall health and well-being of patients.

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What Types of Patients Can Physiatrists Help?

Any patient facing rehabilitation can benefit from a physiatrist's help. These specialized medical professionals are at the forefront of the latest treatments and technologies and offer guidance on the ever-changing trends in health care. Physiatrist can practice out of different facilities such as skilled nursing facilitiesinpatient rehab hospitalsassisted/independent living facilities, and more.


Help More Patients — Contact Medrina Today

If you are passionate about helping people and are interested in a role as a Physiatrist, contact Medrina today. We can help guide your next steps toward an exciting position in PM&R.

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