Question: Do Physiatrists offer specialized treatments to reduce pain or improve mobility?
Answer: Yes, there are many specialized treatments, which include medication, therapy, local injection, fluoroscopic or ultrasound-guided injection, osteopathic manipulation, acupuncture, yoga, education, and more.
Physiatrists perform joint, bursa, and trigger point injections. These procedures in expert hands can be performed easily in the office and often will quickly and completely resolve problems such as acute bursitis, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, and many others. Many of these injections are now performed in our practice using ultrasound guidance, which allows us to directly visualize the structures being injected. This results in less painful injections and assuring the medication reaches the precise area where it is needed.
Special injection procedures are performed under fluoroscopic guidance to assure proper placement of the medication. Special training is required. These injections include epidural, sacroiliac, and facet injection procedures.
BOTOX® injections are another procedure performed by physiatrists, not for cosmetic reasons but for patients who have had strokes, traumatic brain injuries, cerebral palsy, or spinal cord injuries. These specialized injections help control spasticity, allowing the patients to function better or their caregivers to manage their care more effectively.
Manipulation, particularly spinal, is performed by a number of our physiatrists. Many are osteopathically trained and have had extensive teaching in osteopathic manipulation techniques. These techniques, when combined with injection and therapy, can be very beneficial in relieving some patients’ spinal pain problems.