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PHYSICAL MEDICINE & REHABILITATION (PM&R)
(OLDER TERM: PHYSIATRY)

PM&R as a medical specialty is not limited to one organ system, and we are trained to view the body in a different context from all other medical specialties.  In fact, not only are we trained to view you as a whole person, but your interaction with everything surrounding you as well - your environment, your family, your work, your hobbies, your social circumstances, etc....  I call this "zooming out."  A PM&R Physician can take this in context of "zooming in" to how your body is functioning at a cellular level. 

At the core of PM&R is how every DIAGNOSIS 

causes or may cause certain IMPAIRMENTS in bodily functioning

which, in turn, lead to DISABILITY loss of ability

DIAGNOSIS ---> IMPAIRMENTS ---> DISABILITY

From there, we can establish your your highest potential level of functioning.  We compare this to your current level of functioning, and help you maximize your potential.

PM&R Physician vs my:

  • Neurologist

  • Orthopedic surgeon

  • Rheumatologist

  • etc.....

What's the difference?
Do I need to see both?

A MEDICAL SPECIALIST diagnoses, monitors, and treats your disease
A PM&R PHYSICIAN treats your functional loss from the disease 

EXAMPLE: RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS
A RHEUMATOLOGIST diagnoses the disease, prescribes disease modifying drugs to treat, prevents or delays the disease from progressing, and monitors for medical problems that may occur as a result of the disease. 

A PM&R PHYSICIAN identifies, treats, and monitors the impairments caused by the disease.  In rheumatoid arthritis, this could be the management in difficulty using your hands with bracing and OT, optimizing your compensatory strategies to accomplish gross motor tasks with PT following a comprehensive PM&R analysis of your gait and stance, managing your pain with non-pharmacologic modalities and/or medication, and managing fatigue related to the disease with strategies and/or medication. 

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