Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation in Knoxville & Athens, TN
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), often referred to as physiatry, is a medical specialty that focuses on the diagnosing and treating problems affecting the nerves muscles, and bones. Physiatrists place a large emphasis on restoring maximum function and not just relieving pain. Physiatrists are able to achieve this by treating the whole person and not just the problem area.
Physical medicine often involves a multidisciplinary approach, meaning that different healthcare professionals from various specialties may collaborate to provide patients with comprehensive care. This collaboration can include physiatrists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, orthotists/prosthetists, psychologists, and social workers.
Spine surgery is typically not needed to relieve back pain. Back problems can be extremely painful, but noninvasive therapies can be highly useful for diagnosing and treating pain, numbness, tingling or strength loss. Other conditions include scoliosis, arthritis, strain, and physical inequalities.
Non-surgical spine treatments offered at OrthoKnox may include a combination of:
- Activity Modification
- Physical Therapy
- Oral and topical medications
- Interventional techniques such as nerve blocks
- Epidural injections in the lumbar and cervical spine
- Nerve killing procedures such as radiofrequency ablation
- Kyphoplasty - for vertebral compression fractures
- Neuromodulation - involves spinal cord stimulators
- Fluoroscopic guided x-ray injections
- Referral for acupuncture, as well as counseling on how individuals can implement holistic and wellness lifestyle practices that help alleviate chronic pain.
Physical therapy is a key component of physical medicine. Physical therapists work with patients to help them regain strength, flexibility, coordination, and balance through exercises and other therapeutic interventions. They may use manual techniques, modalities like heat or cold therapy, and assistive devices as needed.
Occupational therapists focus on helping patients improve their ability to perform everyday tasks and activities. They may teach adaptive techniques, recommend assistive devices, and provide training to enhance skills required for independent living and work.
Physiatrists are trained to manage pain through various approaches, including medication management, injections (such as corticosteroid injections), and minimally invasive pain management treatments like nerve blocks or trigger point injections.
In cases involving nerve or muscle dysfunction, physiatrists may perform electrodiagnostic studies like electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS) to assess the integrity of nerves and muscles.
For individuals with limb loss or mobility impairments, physiatrists may work with orthotists and prosthetists to design, fit, and prescribe orthotic devices (braces) or prosthetic limbs that improve mobility and function.
Physical medicine may involve long-term care, especially for patients with chronic conditions or disabilities. The focus may shift from intensive rehabilitation to the ongoing maintenance of functional gains and prevention of deterioration.
Benefits of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation offers a wide range of benefits for individuals who are recovering from injuries or surgeries, or who are managing chronic conditions. Key advantages of PM&R include:
- Functional Improvement: PM&R aims to enhance functional ability and restore independence. Through targeted exercises, therapies, and interventions, patients can regain strength, flexibility, coordination, and balance.
- Individualized Treatment Plans: PM&R practitioners create tailored treatment plans that address the unique needs and goals of each patient. This personalized approach ensures that the rehabilitation process is aligned with the individual's specific condition and circumstances.
- Enhanced Mobility: Whether recovering from surgery or an injury, PM&R helps individuals regain mobility and range of motion. This is particularly important for maintaining an active and fulfilling lifestyle.
- Prevention of Complications: PM&R addresses potential complications that can arise from immobilization or reduced activity. By providing appropriate therapies and interventions, it helps prevent issues like muscle atrophy, joint stiffness, and pressure ulcers.
- Non-Surgical Options: PM&R explores non-surgical treatment options whenever possible. This often leads to faster recovery times, fewer complications, and a reduced need for invasive procedures.
- Improved Quality of Life: Ultimately, PM&R's focus on restoring function, managing pain, and promoting well-being leads to an improved overall quality of life for patients.
Physiatrist Near Me
At OrthoKnox, our goal is to assist you in reclaiming your well-being and rediscovering the activities you cherish. We are dedicated to delivering a warm, patient-focused experience within a nurturing and healing setting. Our on-site Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation services are provided at our Knoxville and Athens, Tennessee orthopedic clinic. To schedule an appointment, do not hesitate to reach out to our office at (865) 251-3030 or request an appointment online today.