Physiatry is often referred to as physical medicine and rehabilitation. It is a branch of medicine, certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties, that specializes in diagnosing and treating disabilities, illnesses and injuries that cause pain and difficulty with movement and function. Physiatrists use conservative treatment; they do not perform surgeries. Rather, they use methods such as physical therapy, accupuncture, medication and more. They focus on treating the musculoskeletal system, ranging from the muscles and bones to the nerves and tendons.
The goal of physiatry is to help patients and injury victims reach their maximum medical improvement without surgical intervention to prevent permanent and disabling injuries. If you have questions about how a physiatrist can help you, contact your primary care physician and ask if a physiatrist is right for you.