THIS POST IS PART OF THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO NON-SURGICAL ORTHOPEDIC CARE
Once you have made an appointment with a physiatrist, also referred to as a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician or a non-operative pain management doctor, you might be unsure what to expect next.
Similar to any physician, a physiatrist will start by assessing your condition during your initial visit. During your first appointment or at a follow-up appointment he or she will develop a treatment plan tailored to your needs. Depending on your diagnosis, you may continue to meet with your physiatrist for a period of time.
Initial visit with a physiatrist
You can expect the following at your first visit:
- A physical exam and medical history review
- Possible imaging tests such as an X-ray, MRI or CAT scan
- An evaluation of your symptoms
- A determination of your needs and goals
“As physiatrists, we focus on pinpointing the condition that is causing our patients’ pain,” said Dr. David Steinberg, OrthoIndy physiatrist. “By listening to patients and providing a thorough examination, we can get an accurate diagnosis.”
Physiatry treatment plan
Your treatment plan may include one or a variety of the following treatments:
- Use of medication
- Further diagnostic testing
- Referral to other specialists
- Involvement of a pain psychologist if you are dependent on pain medication
- Physical therapy
- Injection procedures using steroids or nerve blocks
- Ongoing monitoring and follow-up appointments
“Each patient has a specially designed treatment plan that works best for their specific problem,” said Dr. Steinberg. “One patient may require multiple visits with a physiatrist and a physical therapist, while another patient will feel better after one injection.”
Physiatrist’s treatment goals
- Diagnose the problem
- Restore and optimize functions
- Decrease pain
“The goal of all physiatrist is to return the patient to their regular lifestyle activities,” said Dr. Steinberg.
Learn more about non-surgical orthopedic care at OrthoIndy.