Physiatry

Physiatry focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of patients who suffer from severe impairments; conditions such as musculoskeletal injuries, headaches or sciatica; and neurological disorders ranging from pinched nerves to carpal tunnel syndrome. Often, a comprehensive approach to dramatic changes in lifestyle is crucial to long- term rehabilitation. Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation physicians may also perform electrodiagnostics which are used to provide nervous system functional information for diagnosis and prognosis for various neuromuscular disorders. The common electrodiagnostic tests performed by physiatrists are nerve conduction studies (NCS) and needle electromyographies (EMG). The nerve conduction study involves electrical stimulation to peripheral nerves, and the nerves’ responses are measured including such things as onset latency, amplitude, and conduction velocity. Needle electromyography requires needle electrode insertion into the muscles to detect the electrical potential generated from muscle fibers. Abnormal electrical potentials, such as fibrillation potential or positive sharp waves, detected by EMG needles indicate the presence of muscle fibers that have abnormal nerve supplies.

Practically any disease condition that is associated with or leaves a person with PAIN, PARALYSIS and/or DEFORMITY, alone or in combination, has a potential to be significantly benefited by physiatric intervention.