Physiatry – Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
A physiatrist is a physician specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Physiatrists treat a wide range of problems from sore shoulders to spinal cord injuries. The focus of the specialty is on restoring function to people. Physiatrists treat acute and chronic pain and musculoskeletal disorders. Physiatrists offer a broad spectrum of medical services. They do not perform surgery, but may instead prescribe drugs, steroid and pain relief injections or assistive devices such as a brace or artificial limb. They also use diverse therapies such as heat and cold, medical acupuncture, electrotherapies, massage, biofeedback, traction and therapeutic exercise.
What types of problems does physiatry treat?
Phyisatrists treat a variety of musculoskeletal problems. They may see a person who lifts a heavy object at work and experiences back pain, a basketball player who sprains an ankle and needs rehabilitation to play again, or a knitter who has carpal tunnel syndrome. Physiatrists’ patients include people with arthritis, tendonitis, any kind of back pain, and work and sports related injuries.
What kind of difference can seeing a physiatrist make?
Since it is the concern of the physiatrist to restore patients to maximum function, the difference they make is dramatic. In many cases, the physiatrist not only takes care of the acute problem (like from a broken hip or herniated disc), but also treats the patient until he returns to optimal functioning, usually without surgery. The physiatrist will also teach the patient how to prevent the injury in the future.
Dr. Friedman is a physician, rehabilitative medicine specialist, and acupuncturist. He maintains a practice specializing in musculo-skeletal injuries and pain management. His focus is on exercise prescription and sports medicine. In addition to mainstream Western medicine, Dr. Friedman’s methodology incorporates manual medicine and acupuncture techniques that enhance body movement. Dr. Friedman received his undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton, and his doctorate in medicine from SUNY Syracuse. He did his residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.
Physiatrists are physicians who treat a wide range of problems from sore shoulders to spinal cord injuries. The focus of the specialty is on restoring function to people. They may see a person who lifts a heavy object at work and experiences back pain, a basketball player who sprains an ankle and needs rehabilitation to play again, or a knitter who has carpal tunnel syndrome. Physiatrists’ patients also include people with arthritis, tendonitis, any kind of back pain, and work- and sports-related injuries.
Examples: Chronic Pain Management, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (previously named Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy), Back Pain, Arthritis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Examples: Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Back Pain and Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
Examples: Achilles Tendonitis, Iliotibial Band Syndrome, Turf Toe, Medial & Lateral Epicondylitis, DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis, Rotator Cuff Pathology, Acromioclavicular Separation, Biceps Tendonitis, Stress Fractures, Concussion
Examples: Joint Replacement, Organ Transplantation, Left-Ventricular Assistive Devices, Cardiac / Pulmonary Rehabilitation