1) is the surgeon Board Certified and
2) did he/she complete a Fellowship in Spine Surgery and
3) is spine surgery a significant portion of his/her practice. [/p] [/toggle] [toggle style=”toggle_box” status=”closed” title=”What are other names for Physiatry?”] [p] Physiatry is also known as physical medicine and rehabilitation, or sometimes just rehabilitation.[/p] [/toggle] [toggle style=”toggle_box” status=”closed” title=”What is a Physiatrist and what do they do?”] [p] Physiatrist is a physician who specializes in the field of physiatry, also known as physical medicine and rehabilitation. Typically, physiatrists have specialized training after medical school, called residency, of four years. In residency, all fields of physiatry are learned and experienced. Once this residency is completed, usually at least two years of practice are required in order to become Board Certified by the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. [/p] [/toggle] [toggle style=”toggle_box” status=”closed” title=”What is the difference between a Physiatrist and a Physical Therapist?”] [p] A Physiatrist is a medical doctor (M.D.) who assesses a patient’s medical condition and current health status through history, physical examination, labs, diagnostic testing as well as review of his/her medical record. A physiatrist determines the most appropriate treatment plan such as prescribing medication or determining the most appropriate therapy (i.e. physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy). The physiatrist may also determine possible exercises that can best alleviate a patient’s symptoms.
In contrast, the physical therapist works with the patient to complete the prescribed therapy (such as strengthening and stretching exercise, massage, heat and cold compression, ultrasound, nerve therapy, etc.) based on the prescription from the physiatrist. [/p] [/toggle] [toggle style=”toggle_box” status=”closed” title=”What kind of treatments do Physiatrists offer?”] [p] Based on the patient’s symptoms and etiology, treatments offered can include medications such as anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxers, narcotics, etc. The physiatrist can also recommend non-invasive specialists (physical therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists) and other outpatient procedure options including small joint injections and trigger point injections. [/p] [/toggle] [toggle style=”toggle_box” status=”closed” title=”What are common conditions that a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician would treat?”] [p] Common conditions that a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician would treat include musculoskeletal pain (neck, back, joint pain in arms and legs), amputation, stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, or other nerve injuries. [/p] [/toggle] [toggle style=”toggle_box” status=”closed” title=”How do Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physicians diagnose ailments?”] [p] The key to an accurate diagnosis of ailments includes a thorough medical history, comprehensive physical examination, review of medical records, diagnostic testing (X-ray, MRI, CT scan, NCS/EMG) and consultation referrals to appropriate specialists. [/p] [/toggle] [toggle style=”toggle_box” status=”closed” title=”What role do Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physicians play in patient treatment?”] [p] The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physicians focus on pain management, nerve conduction study/Electromyelography to assess nerve injury, as well as management of patients with rehabilitation needs for stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputation, wheel chair and other assistive devices. [/p] [/toggle] [toggle style=”toggle_box” status=”closed” title=”What is NCS/ EMG?”] [p] NCS stands for nerve conduction study, and EMG stands for Electromyelography. NCS is done by electrically stimulating nerves in arms and legs responsible for sensation and muscle movement, while EMG is done by inserting a small needle antenna to look and listen to the electric signal sent from nerves to muscles. NCS/EMG testing provides physiological evidence of nerve injury caused by spinal disk degenerative disease / radiculopathy / nerve impingement, as well as nerve entrapment injury in limbs such as carpal tunnel syndrome or cubital tunnel syndrome. [/p] [/toggle] [toggle style=”toggle_box” status=”closed” title=”What is pain management?”] [p] Pain management is a branch of medicine that applies science to the reduction of pain. It covers a wide spectrum of conditions including neuropathic pain, sciatica and postoperative pain. The goal of pain management is to minimize pain, rather than eliminate it. This is because quite often it is not possible to completely do away with it. Two other goals are to improve function and increase quality of life. These three goals go hand-in-hand. [/p] [/toggle] [toggle style=”toggle_box” status=”closed” title=”When is it appropriate to see a pain management physician specialist?”] [p] Your doctor may refer you to pain management if she or he determines that your pain has become out of control. [/p] [/toggle] [toggle style=”toggle_box” status=”closed” title=”What is the difference between acute and chronic pain?”] [p] Acute pain is of short duration, usually the result of an injury, surgery or illness. This type of pain includes acute injuries, post-operative pain and post-trauma pain.
Chronic pain is persistent and may be mild or severe. It is defined as pain lasting longer than 6 months. It is well documented that if acute pain is not treated appropriately it can progress to chronic pain.
Treatments for acute and chronic pain are generally quite different. In some cases, pain can be stopped or alleviated by a single procedure or series of procedures. Sometimes, chronic pain is part of a widespread disease process, and the specific cause may be difficult to pinpoint. Once we have identified the specific factor causing the pain, we may be able to treat it so that the condition no longer occurs. In some patients, the specific factor causing the pain–such as cancer–cannot be changed, but we may be able to reduce the pain or help the patient to better cope with the pain through a combination of medical, psychological and rehabilitation techniques. [/p] [/toggle] [toggle style=”toggle_box” status=”closed” title=”How do I communicate to my doctor how much pain I am having?”] [p] Clear communication with your physician is vital in receiving proper diagnosis and effective treatment for pain. People who are informed and prepared will have more productive medical visits—by relaying critical details and asking the right questions. Here are some simple steps you can take to communicate with your healthcare professional:
Tell your doctor why you are there. At the beginning of the appointment, clearly describe your pain symptoms and any related symptoms, such as nausea, lack of appetite, and difficulty sleeping. In addition, tell your doctor if the pain interferes with activities—at home and/or work, or regarding leisure activities, and whether the pain has affected your mood.
Show your doctor where it hurts. Be as specific as you can. Tell your doctor if it hurts in one particular spot or over a region of your body.
Describe your pain with adjectives. Only you know how your pain feels, but you can better relay it to your doctor by using words such as aching, throbbing, shooting, stabbing, gnawing, sharp, tender, burning, exhausting, penetrating, nagging, numb, and unbearable.
Rate the severity of pain on a scale. Use a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being no pain and 10 being the worst pain you can imagine. Rate your pain for a period of time before your doctor visit, noting each timeframe for when pain is better or worse. Some people keep a pain diary to help them record how they feel over a period of time.
Provide information about when and how long your pain continues. Tell your doctor if your pain is continuous, periodic, or occasional. Recall the time of day when your pain is the worst, and if it is triggered or alleviated by particular activities — like standing, walking, getting in/out of a car, etc.
Devise a treatment plan with your doctor. Treatment varies. Your doctor may recommend treatment, such as massage or yoga, and can also prescribe medications to help the pain. Every patient has unique needs, so adjusting the plan with your doctor is essential to pain management.
Speak up. If prescribed medicine isn’t helping, talk with your doctor about different treatment options and adjust your pain management plan accordingly. Your symptoms are real, and you deserve to have your pain relieved. [/p] [/toggle] [toggle style=”toggle_box” status=”closed” title=”What kinds of treatment are used to manage pain?”] [p] As a first-time patient in a pain management clinic, you might experience the following: Clinical evaluation and prescribing of pain medications. Diagnostic tests, if necessary, as determined in the evaluation. Interventional treatment, such as injections or spinal cord stimulation. Physical therapy to increase range-of-motion and strength, and to prepare you to go back to work. Referral to surgeon, if indicated by the tests and evaluation. Psychiatry to deal with depression, anxiety and/or other issues that may accompany your chronic pain. Alternative medicine to provide a complement to your other treatments. [/p] [/toggle] [hr]