What is a Physiatrist?

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Over the 25 years of private practice, I have been asked many times as to what exactly I do in my specialty. The doctors at CHARM are Physiatrists. Physiatrists are physicians (MD or DO’s) who have completed training in the specialty of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), and may be subspecialty certified in Brain Injury Medicine, Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Neuromuscular Medicine, Pain Medicine, Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine, Spinal Cord Injury Medicine, and/or Sports Medicine. 

Physiatrists can diagnose and treat a wide variety of medical conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord, nerves, bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons, depending on the focus of the practice.

In general, PM&R physicians:

  • Treat patients of all ages

  • Focus treatment on function

  • Have a broad medical expertise that allows them to treat disabling conditions throughout a person’s lifetime

  • Diagnose and treat pain as a result of an injury, illness, or disabling condition

  • Determine and lead a treatment/prevention plan

  • Lead a team of medical professionals, which may include physical therapists, occupational therapists, and physician extenders to optimize patient care

  • Work with other physicians, which may include primary care physicians, neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, and many others.

  • Treat the whole person, not just the problem area 

Depending on the injury, illness, or disabling condition, some PM&R physicians may treat their patients using the following procedures/services:

  • EMG/Nerve Conduction Studies*

  • Ultrasound guided procedures*

  • Fluoroscopy guided procedures*

  • Injections of spine *

  • Discography, Disc Decompression and Vertebroplasy/Kyphoplasty

  • Nerve Stimulators, Blocks and Ablation procedures—Peripheral and Spinal

  • Injections of joints*

  • Prolotherapy, PRP, Regenerative Medicine*

  • Spasticity Treatment (Phenol and Botulinum toxin injections*, intrathecal baclofen pump trial and implants)

  • Nerve and Muscle Biopsy

  • Manual Medicine/Osteopathic Treatment

  • Prosthetics and Orthotics

  • Complementary-alternative medicine (i.e. acupuncture, etc.)

  • Disability/impairment assessment

  • Medicolegal consulting*

(*Offered by Charm providers)

Yours in health,

Eduardo R Elizondo, MD, CLCP, FACSM

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