Physical Medicine & Rehab
What is Physical Medicine & Rehab, or PM&R?
The pioneer of physical medicine, Dr. Frank Krusen, established the specialty back in the 1930s after a personal battle with tuberculosis – a bacterial lung infection that commonly causes unintentional weight loss and muscle loss. In the 1940s and 1950s, the polio epidemic in the US created huge demands for physical therapists and physiatrists with Dr. Krusen’s expertise. The physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) specialty is rooted in physical therapy, but encompasses a whole-body approach to restoring maximum function lost due to an illness or injury.
Doctors who specialize in PM&R can diagnose and treat adults and children with physical and/or cognitive disabilities and pain conditions. They have training in neurological disorders and musculoskeletal conditions. Rehabilitation physicians may treat people with:
- Amputations / Prosthetics
- Osteoarthritis / Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Brain Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Nerve Compression
- Ulnar Neuropathy (Wrist Pain in Bicyclists)
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
- Pregnancy-Related Back Pain
- Sports-Related Injuries
- Work-Related Injuries
Treatment – Non-Surgical
A physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor, also called a physiatrist, takes time to accurately pinpoint the source of pain or disability. A variety of diagnostic tests can help, including electromyography and nerve conduction studies, X-rays, and MRIs.Treatment options are non-surgical in nature but can provide substantial relief. Therapeutic injections containing steroids, anti-inflammatory drugs, and pain medication may be offered in addition to specialized physical therapy. The goal of treatment is provide comprehensive care for the patient as a whole, not just the pain or disability.North Country Orthopaedic Group works as a team to make sure every patient receives the highest quality care possible. A physiatrist will consult with other members of our medical team, including orthopedic surgeons, endocrinologists, sports medicine experts, and physical therapists to achieve the best possible outcome. We want you to keep moving through every stage of life, and our PM&R doctors have credentials and experience you won’t find anywhere else in Northern New York. We draw patients from all over the region because of our reputation for excellence. Call North Country Orthopaedic Group at (315) 782-1650 to schedule your consultation today or use our online form.
In the News
Join us in congratulating Dr. Natalie Nielsen in becoming Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery!
ABOS Board Certification “is yet one more assurance for patients and their families — before and after surgery. Studies point to better outcomes, decreased infection rates and reduced time away from home when surgery is performed by a Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon”1.
Board certification is voluntary process beyond medical licensure. A Board Certified physician must meet certain educational requirements. Certification first consists of two phases. The first phase is a timed exam of approximately 320 multiple choice questions covering all of orthopaedics. After passing this exam, the physician is considered Board Eligible. The second phase is an oral exam, for which all surgical cases performed during a six-month period are submitted for review by the volunteer Board Certified orthopaedic surgeons. Twelve cases are selected for the oral exam presentation. The cases are independently graded and scrutinized by examiners on many levels. Once a physician passes the second phase, they are Board Certified for a period of 10 years.