WHAT IS REHABILITATION MEDICINE?

Rehabilitation Medicine in New York–also known as physical medicine & rehabilitation (PH&R) or physiatry—is a relatively new branch of medical care that emphasizes preventing, diagnosing, treating, and rehabilitating conditions and diseases that generally induce permanent or temporary functional impairment. 

This branch is unique in medicine in the sense that it focuses on the functionality of a patient as a “whole,” in contract to focusing, as the other branches of medicine do, on specific human organs, systems or individual sections/parts.

Acknowledging that chronic diseases and acute injuries can often negatively affect a patient’s self-perception, how well he/she can play assigned roles in society, and whether people can meet their everyday responsibilities, rehabilitation medicine seeks to help people overcome these situations so that they can get back to their normal lives.

Rehabilitation medicine strives to restore (as much as possible) and maximize a patient’s mobility and independence; using an emphasis-on-the-patient perspective and paradigm, physical medicine & rehabilitation is primarily concerned with putting patients back on track both medically and functionally.  

10 ESSENTIAL REHABILITATION MEDICINE FACTS

–1.  Rehabilitation medicine and physical therapy have much in common, albeit the former is more comprehensive and expansive, while the latter is supportive and subservient to the former; in other words, a physiatrist (a rehabilitation medicine specialist) would design a treatment plan that a physical therapist would then be able to implement.  A physical therapist, in general, can’t diagnose disease or work independently; a physiatrist, on the other hand, can do both. 

–2.  Physiatrists employ a number of different tools in order to help their patients achieve their goals or meet their most basic medical needs.  Some of those tools include:

  • Injections
  • Medications
  • Therapeutic exercise, possibly in conjunction with or under the rubric of physical therapy
  • Orthotics or prosthetics
  • Adaptive devices
  • Mobility apparatus
  • Cognitive therapy

–3.  A physiatrist doesn’t just want to diagnose and treat conditions that may hamper over-all functionality but, also, conditions and diseases that may lead to dangerous complications and/or deterioration of existing ailments into secondary or peripheral (i.e., coming about only as a result of not getting treatment one needs promptly) disabling conditions.

–4. A physiatrist may employ technologically sophisticated options in order to arrive at a suitable diagnosis for enigmatic symptoms and signs of musculoskeletal and neurologic diseases; some of these tools may include state-of-the-art medical imaging (e.g., musculoskeletal ultrasound) and other special electrodiagnostic tools.

–5.  Rehabilitation medicine is especially useful in the sports industry, as well as for vocational purposes.  This is due to the fact that in both settings over-all functionality is especially important—in other words, an injury the average person can just wait out until it may naturally heal would put a professional athlete out of commission.  The same goes for injuries and diseases that affect someone’s ability to work. 

–6.  Some of the symptoms physiatrists may pay special attention to include:  numbness, lethargy, persistent pain (especially when moving or exerting), flaccidity, loss of function, flaccidity, etc.

–7.  The field of rehabilitation medicine has become more and more important since conditions and diseases that used to kill people in the past are now treatable.  This means not only that people are living longer but are now more likely to be hampered by chronic conditions capable of interfering with daily functioning.

–8.  Physiatrists often delegate the treatment modalities in their repertoire; as such, rehabilitation medicine is more a tactical/analytical job than it is a hand’s-on profession.

–9.  Physiatrists manage complex medical issues that must be taken into effect before developing and implementing any therapeutic plan.  Some such issues include:  autonomic dysreflexia, pain management, neurogenic bladder & bowel, gait & movement ataxia, dysphagia, and spasticity management.

–10.  Physiatrists may manage (possibly in cooperation with other specialists) several conditions that often appear at the same time; some such conditions include:  diabetes, hypertension, COPD, CAD, GERD, etc. 

 Rehabilitation Medicine in New York is here to help you get the services you need affordably, promptly, amicably and effectively.  If waiting isn’t an option, then call for appointment ASAP. 

The sooner you call, the quicker Rehabilitation Medicine New York can attend to your unique needs and desires.