Ask The Doctors: May 2010

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A physiatrist is a physician who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation that involves non-surgical management and treatment of injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems. Physiatrists treat a wide range of problems, from sore shoulders to spinal cord injuries. After pinpointing the source of an ailment, a physiatrist can design a treatment plan that can be carried out by the patients themselves or with the help of other health professionals, such as neurologists, orthopaedic surgeons, and physical therapists. For patients with arthritis, a physiatrist can help develop a non-operative treatment plan that may include exercise, physical therapy, injections, braces or splints, and the use of assistive devices.
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