The field of physiatry emerged after World War II and its practitioners specialize in non-surgical treatment of the entire body – not only the neck and back. Rehabilitation physicians are medical doctors who are not surgeons but diagnose and treat pain, administer comprehensive treatment plans and injection therapy and evaluate the patient’s entire body in order to conservatively restore function and quality of life.
Physiatrists generally serve in a multidisciplinary role and are capable of treating a wide variety of patients including children, athletes and individuals with significant spine problems. PM&R physicians may treat many specific problems including sciatica, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, myofacial pain and muscle problems.
A comprehensive approach to treatment may include all or any of the following: injection therapy, active physical therapy, occupational therapy, medication or passive modalities such as heat and ice application.