Physiatry is the branch of medicine that integrates the knowledge of neurology, orthopedics, physical therapy, rehabilitation medicine, psychiatry and psychology for the rehabilitation of people with functional limitations due to chronic or acute pain, illness or injury. It is a medical specialty that focuses on preventing, diagnosing, and treating physical disorders and injuries, especially those that affect the musculoskeletal system and spine. It also utilizes physical therapy, exercise, and other rehabilitative techniques to improve mobility, relieve pain, reduce or prevent muscle spasms, and promote general health and wellness.
Advantages of Physiatry Services:
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation practice includes assessing and treating neurological and musculoskeletal diseases such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, stroke, degenerative neurologic conditions, including multiple sclerosis, amputations, and chronic pain.
We at Opal have Physiatrist Dr. Lawrence Kei to provide physiatry services to people in Fraser Valley region. He can now provide outpatient Physiatry services at Opal Physiotherapy and Health Clinic. He is a medical specialist who aims to make Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) accessible to Langley and surrounding communities.
A significant component of his physiatry practice involves using ultrasound for interventions, including
- corticosteroid injections
- nerve blocks
- trigger point injections
- percutaneous needle tenotomy
” Physiatry Services Require Doctor’s Referral. Please consult Your Primary Care Physician For Any Referrals “
Frequently Asked Questions on Physiatry
What is Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation?
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physicians, also widely recognized as Physiatrists, are medical specialty doctors specializing in assessing and treating patients suffering from pain and functional impairments.
Physiatry employs a comprehensive, multifaceted approach to care that considers how a patient’s medical condition impacts all parts of their life, including their role at work, at home, and in their regular activities.
A Physiatrist can help a person’s functional abilities by providing medical treatment and reducing the need for surgery. They integrate a rehabilitation program that includes physical, occupational, speech therapies, psychological, prosthetic, orthotic, and vocational services.
A PM&R specialist diagnoses diseases, develop treatment plans and provide prescriptions for medicines their primary focus is improving the overall quality of life. To that aim, they treat patients as a whole rather than simply a single area of the body. The ultimate objective is to return patients to their usual daily activities or the best degree of performance that they can, despite their limitations.
In addition, they may prescribe additional treatments such as physiotherapy, massage therapy, electrotherapy, prescription braces, and other assistive equipment depending on the patient’s requirement.
What kind of treatment does a physiatrist provide?
Diagnostic tests and treatments performed and prescribed by PM&R specialists include:
- Musculoskeletal ultrasound
- Pain medications
- Spine injections
- Interventional spinal therapeutics
- Soft tissue injections
- Joint injections
- Spasticity management
- Interventional spinal therapeutics
When should you see a physiatrist?
Whether your pain or discomfort originates from neurological injury, chronic health disorders, ageing-related mobility challenges, or short-term pain after an injury, physiatrists develop a treatment plan to improve your quality of life.
If you experience any of the following issues, you should visit a physiatrist:
- You have an injury, disease, disability or have had previous treatments for a disease that has left you with restricted physical functioning and discomfort.
- You’re thinking about having surgery to relieve persistent pain or discomfort.
- Have a stroke or other neurological injury that has limited your physical functioning.
- You have persistent back pain, neck discomfort, pain from a repetitive stress injury, or chronic arthritic pain.
What procedures does physiatrist follow?
A pain specialist can determine the source of pain and provide pain management and treatment to assist a patient to regain mobility and function.
For this, the rehabilitation specialist looks at the entire body, not just one problem region, and puts together a therapy plan to maximize care and rehabilitation.
What conditions can a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist treat?
The specialist may focus on one or more of the following areas, depending on the cause of the problem. they diagnose and could treat a wide range of patients suffering from a variety of disorders, including:
- Treating pain or mobility issues arising from a spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre syndrome etc.
- Chronic pain conditions
- Symptoms of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis
- Tendonitis, stress fractures, and concussions
- Post-operative care after joint replacement, organ transplant, and heart surgery
- Sports injuries
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Herniated disc
- A pinched nerve in the neck or back
- Work injuries
- Cancer rehabilitation
- Pelvic floor disorders
- Myofascial pain
Do physiatrists see patients of all ages?
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialist have a wide range of medical skills to treat patients with various pain-causing illnesses that can arise at any age.
Can a Physiatrist do pediatric rehabilitation?
A Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine physiatrist employs an interdisciplinary approach to preventing, diagnosing, treating, and managing congenital and childhood-onset physical disabilities. They can identify functional capacities, select appropriate rehabilitation intervention techniques, and comprehend the continuum of care throughout the disability.
How do physiatrists diagnose patients?
Pain specialist employs procedures such as electrodiagnostic medicine and nerve conduction tests in addition to the standard diagnostic tools (physical examinations, imaging studies, and clinical history)—these highly specialized diagnostic techniques aid physiatrists in the diagnosis of disorders that cause pain and disability.
How do physiatrists differ from a physiotherapist?
The important distinction between a physiatrist and a physiotherapist is that a physiatrist has a medical degree. Thus, a physiatrist is a qualified, board-certified physician who has finished medical school, internship and residency.
Physiatrists have more comprehensive training allowing them to have a deeper understanding of the structure and function of the human body. They also comprehend how the neurological, cardiovascular, and other systems interact with the musculoskeletal system.
A physiotherapist acquires certification after completing a post-graduate degree in physiotherapy.
Is a referral required to book an appointment with Physiatry Specialist?
Yes, seeing a physiatrist / PM&R Specialist requires a referral from your primary care physician, who is best qualified to assess your need for this specialty.
Need to book an appointment with a physiatrist in the langley and Fraser Valley region? Please Contact Opal physiotherapy and Health clinic at 604-532-7887 for your Physiatry appointment