Our physiatrists work to get to know you, your medical history and your immediate needs.
Musculoskeletal pain can make everyday activities difficult. Physiatry is the branch of medicine dedicated to physical medicine. The focus is on providing treatments and rehabilitation to reduce your pain, extend your range of motion and increase your independence.
As part of our commitment to being your Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH), Long Island Select Healthcare (LISH) offers physiatrist services. This department is committed to the holistic functionality of our patients.
What Do Physiatrists Do?
Physiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in physical medicine. These doctors treat patients who have neuromusculoskeletal conditions or disabilities that affect the use of the body.
Specialists in this area are committed to helping rehabilitate affected patients. For this reason, the field is sometimes called rehabilitation medicine.
Rehabilitation can help people become more confident or independent. These services may also reduce the amount of pain that patients live with on a daily basis.
Some patients who visit this type of doctor have already received a diagnosis. Others do not yet have an explanation for the pain or other symptoms that they are experiencing. In those situations, physiatrists perform diagnostic tests and try to get to the root of the problem.
With a diagnosis in hand, the doctor can craft a treatment plan that involves practitioners from many different healthcare specialties. This may include physical therapists, occupational therapists and other doctors. For whole-person care and wellness, the physiatrist’s office coordinates these caregivers’ efforts.
Physiatrists also implement strategies to prevent further damage that could reduce a patients’ mobility or cause increased pain.
Who Should See a Physiatrist?
Many people can benefit from physiatric care. You should consider seeking out rehabilitation medicine if you:
- Are recovering from cancer or another major illness
- Are recovering from a stroke
- Deal with fibromyalgia or other neuromuscular conditions
- Have arthritis
- Have a degenerative disease
- Have a physical disability
- Suffer from chronic pain, such as back or neck pain
- Have suffered a sports injury
- Have gotten hurt at work
- Have had a limb amputated
Patients of any age may need this type of care.
A physiatrist’s goal will be to consider ways that your pain or injury affects your daily life. The doctor will coordinate treatments and work with other practitioners to help you thrive despite your condition.
Tests and Treatments at the Physiatrist’s Office
When you’re under the care of a physiatrist, you may undergo a variety of tests so the doctor can learn the best ways to meet your medical needs.
Useful diagnostic procedures may include:
- Joint injections
- Electromyography (EMG)
- Nerve conduction studies (NCS)
In addition, your doctor may talk to you about your symptoms, review your medical history and discuss your case with colleagues.
The more a practitioner knows about your medical condition, the more targeted your treatment can be. Your doctor may coordinate a customized treatment plan that involves the services of many healthcare providers.
Your plan may include:
- Dry needling
- Epidurals or other nerve blocks
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Radiofrequency ablation
Physiatrists do not perform surgery, and they generally consider physical treatments before turning to surgical procedures.
Coordinating with Other Healthcare Providers
Pain, stiffness and other physical ailments can affect your entire life, including your overall health and wellness. Physiatrists understand the interconnectedness of your body’s many systems. They evaluate you as a whole person rather than focusing on just one body part.
Because of this open-minded approach, physiatrists often draw on the expertise of many medical specialists. Your care plan may include therapies that you will receive in a variety of different settings. For example, a physical therapist or an occupational therapist may carry out some of the treatments. Other procedures may be performed by the medical staff at the physiatrist’s office.
In addition to therapists, your primary care provider (PCP) may be an important member of your physiatry team. Specialists that contribute to your care might include neurologists, cardiologists and oncologists. If surgery is necessary, neurosurgeons or orthopedic surgeons may become involved in your case.
Trust LISH for Your Healthcare Needs
Physiatry is a valuable resource for patients with disabilities and musculoskeletal disorders. Practitioners in this field provide diagnoses and physical treatments that are focused on whole-body functionality and wellness.
Rehabilitation medicine at LISH benefits from the comprehensive range of healthcare services that are available at our facilities. Our physiatry team is able to work closely with our other departments.
Many LISH patients can benefit from physiatric services. To schedule your appointment or to learn more, call our central office at (631) 650-2510. You can also send us a digital message through our online contact form.