Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Physical medicine and rehabilitation - also known as physiatry - is a brand of medicine that deals with temporary and permanent physical impairment. Specialists in bone, muscle and nerve dynamics, physiatrists work to develop comprehensive rehabilitation programs following an accident, injury or illness.
With two locations in Nassau County - Oceanside and Valley Stream NY, our physicians provide comprehensive care, individualized to our patients.
- Diagnose and treat disabilities
- Offer pain management
- Develop a non-surgical treatment plan
- Restore body function and mobility following injury
- Coordinate long-term rehabilitative programs
Rehabilitation aims to restore or enhance the function of an injured bone, muscle, tendon, ligament, joint or limb. The injury may have been acute (the result of one incident) or chronic (long-term). The patient may begin therapy after undergoing an amputation or surgery to correct or improve the problem.
Rehabilitation programs are tailored to each patient with the goals of relieving pain and restoring maximum function to the injured area. Stretching and strengthening exercises are critical. Improvement is sought in strength, flexibility, mobility, coordination, posture, balance, gait, cardio-pulmonary health, and pain. Treatment modalities may include massage, whirlpools, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, heat and cold applications, or alternative therapies. For athletes, rehabilitation typically involves a dual fitness program of weights and cardiovascular training.
Chronic pain is a major medical condition distinctly different and more complex than acute pain. While acute pain is a normal sensation triggered in the nervous system to alert one to possible injury, chronic pain is a state in which pain persists for many months or years, beyond the normal course required by healing of an injury.
The causes of chronic pain are not always clear. Past traumatic injuries, congenital conditions, cancers, arthritis, and others might point to an obvious culprit, but in many cases the source of chronic pain can be very complex. This makes it difficult to treat, and pain management usually does not involve one approach, but a multidisciplinary focus designed to help the patient reach his or her highest level of function and independence.
Trigger point injections are a treatment option for pain in areas that contain trigger points, or knots of muscle that form when muscles do not relax. These points can also irritate nerves around them and therefore cause pain in other areas of the body. A needle containing a local anesthetic (and sometimes a steroid as well) is inserted into the trigger point to make it inactive and therefore alleviate the pain.
The procedure takes just a few minutes and is done in the doctor's office. It is very safe and has minimal side effects. Trigger point injections not only relieve pain, but also loosen the muscles which are causing the pain to therefore help with the rehabilitation process.
Therapeutic joint injections are a minimally-invasive treatment option used to relieve pain caused by inflammatory joint conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis and gout. Corticosteroids, used to reduce inflammation and minimize pain as a result, are injected into the affected joint. This medication only affects the targeted area and does not usually cause side effects. Joint injections are administered under local anesthesia and only cause mild, brief discomfort for patients.
Joint injections can be used to relieve pain in the:
Osteoarthritis, or "wear and tear" arthritis, is a degenerative joint disease in which the cartilage cushioning the joint slowly wears away. The bone ends then rub together whenever the joint moves and the fluid-filled capsule enclosing the joint (the synovium) becomes inflamed. The bone ends may thicken to compensate for the increased friction, and bone spurs may form at the edges of the joint.
Synovial injections work to lubricate and restore the elasticity of a joint. The treatment, which can often last for up to six months, often significantly reduces a patient’s dependence on pain medication. Most importantly, synovial replacement therapy can often prevent further damage to cartilage.