The first question you’re asking is probably, “Physia what?” Physiatry—pronounced fiz eye’ a tree—is the medical specialty of physical medicine and rehabilitation. Medical doctors who are specially trained in this field are called physiatrists. They deal with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disability caused by acute or chronic disease.
So what does that mean for you as a health care consumer? A doctor who is trained in physiatry is especially adept at helping people who are recovering from minor to serious injuries related to:
- Sports injuries
- Work-related accidents
- Back, knee or shoulder problems and other musculoskeletal disorders
- Multiple sclerosis and other neuromuscular or movement disorders
- Effects of cancer treatment
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Lung conditions
Physiatrists also help people who have acute and chronic pain issues.
The bottom line is that unless it’s obvious that surgery is required, a visit to a physiatrist is ideally the first referral for most injuries.
Here’s why: Physiatrists have a unique, thorough understanding of the body works—which translates into a definite advantage for many patients.
“Physiatrists have the advantage of looking at the whole picture, not only what’s going on with the medical issues, but also how these medical issues fully impact the patient’s mobility and self care,” says David Rosenblum, M.D., a physiatrist and medical director of Inpatient Services at Gaylord Hospital. “Physiatry also gives the patient the advantage of a different perspective. When patients need surgery, they clearly need surgery. But there are many times when a patient with lower back pain or a disc disease, by being treated at Gaylord, can successfully avoid surgery.”
Gaylord Hospital has one of the largest staffs of physiatrists among hospitals in New England. They work with other physicians—including internists, rheumatologists, and OB/GYNs—to provide you with the medical services that you need for your specific health care needs.
Top 10 Reasons to See a Physiatrist
- Physiatry is a medical specialty.
- Physiatrists are medical doctors. They are M.D.s and D.O.s.
- Physiatrists treat the whole person, not just a condition.
- Physiatrists use the latest treatments and modalities.
- No problem is ever too small or too big for a physiatrist.
- Physiatry treatment is highly individualized to meet the specific needs of the patient.
- Physiatry can often help people avoid surgery.
- The physiatrist’s job is restore as much function and independence as possible—to put the pieces of people’s lives back together.
- The physiatrist works with a team of health care professionals that includes physicians of other medical specialties, nurses and therapists.
- Physiatrists can help with acute and chronic pain management issues.
Video: What is a physiatrist?
For appointments or referrals contact us at:
Outpatient Therapy Referrals and Appointments (Wallingford and North Haven): (203) 284-2888
Outpatient Medical Services Referrals and Appointments: (203) 284-2888
Outpatient Referral Fax: (203) 284-8705