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Physiatry care to help get your independence back 

What is physical medicine and rehabilitation?

Physical medicine and rehabilitation (also called physiatry) helps people who have lost function, such as mobility and strength, because of chronic illness or injury. Physiatry can help you manage pain and — for some — avoid surgery.

This medical specialty focuses on the restoration of function through treatment. Our physiatry specialists (called physiatrists) also help children reach developmental milestones and can refer you to occupational therapy or speech therapy if needed.

Physical medicine allows you to get treatment outside of the hospital. You’ll spend your days and nights at home and travel to a clinic for appointments. But if you need more supportive treatment after having a stroke, heart or trauma surgery, Geisinger Encompass Health offers inhouse rehabilitation treatment and all the services you need to recover after a big surgery or hospital stay.

What is physiatry?

Physiatry is also known a rehabilitation medicine. Physiatrists diagnose, treat and prevent conditions related to your musculoskeletal system or nervous system, including your brain.

Focusing on the whole person, physiatry can help you regain mobility and strength and reduce chronic pain through treatments including physical therapy and pain treatments.

Whether a sprained ankle prevents you from running or you need intensive therapy to regain mobility after injury or trauma, we can help.

Your physiatrist will work closely with specialists in other areas and may refer you for other kinds of treatment to create a custom treatment plan. Our physiatrists and therapists work with specialists across all disciplines, including sports medicine, heart and vascular, cancer, rheumatology and neurology.

While adults often need rehabilitation treatment, children may need help reaching developmental milestones. Our team of physiatrists treat people of all ages, including children as young as infants.

Need a physical medicine and rehabilitation appointment? Call us today:

What is the difference between physiatry and physical therapy?

Physiatrists differ from physical therapists because they have undergone training at medical school and in the specialty field of physical medicine and rehabilitation. They can diagnose illnesses and prescribe medicine.

A physiatrist often also designs exercises tailored to individual needs, while a physical therapist supervises exercise programs often prescribed and designed by a physiatrist. The two work closely together often to help people find relief from pain and regain their mobility.

Treatments provided by a physiatrist may include both noninvasive and minimally invasive procedures, including injections. Physiatrists treat patients in the hospital, as well as at outpatient locations. They may:

  • Order imaging tests
  • Prescribe medication
  • Perform manual manipulation
  • Give pain-relieving injections
  • Prescribe exercises or braces
  • Prescribe botox for migraines
  • Prescribe botox for spasticity after stroke
  • Refer for specialized therapy

What does physiatry treat?

Our physiatrists will work closely with you to understand your specific goals and how to achieve them. Physiatry helps improve function for patients of all ages, including people dealing with conditions and injuries such as:

Orthopaedic care at Geisinger.

No matter your orthopaedic needs, our team can help you get back to your active. We offer:

  • Comprehensive orthopaedic care: From joint replacement, sports medicine and chiropractic care to a world-renowned spine surgery program, we offer unmatched expertise for orthopaedic conditions. Our team is experienced in treating a wide range of orthopaedic conditions ranging from bone and joint pain to injuries from sports, falls and fractures, and the wear and tear of daily life.
  • World-class care, close to home: With 24 locations throughout central, northeast and south-central Pennsylvania, our experienced orthopaedic team provides evaluations, consultations and comprehensive care. We offer leading-edge treatment options and tailored-to-you care backed by the expertise and innovation of a nationally-renowned health system.
  • Better, faster healing: We use tried and true methods to keep you on the path for healing, such as our ProvenCare® program, which identifies and consistently provides the best treatment for specific conditions. This means less time spent in the hospital and faster recovery.
  • Round-the-clock trauma care: As leaders in orthopaedic trauma, our orthopaedic surgeons are available around the clock when emergencies arise. Our specialized surgeons have completed advanced training in the treatment of trauma-related fractures and other injuries, so you can get advanced care when you need it most.
  • Orthotic care: Our orthotics specialists provide custom braces and shoes that help treat several types of foot and ankle pain, foot complications related to diabetes and more. Orthotics offer treatment devices for people of all ages and is just one of the ways we help runners and other athletes take care of their feet.
  • Orthopaedic urgent care: With five locations and no appointment necessary, our Orthopaedic Urgent Care locations are ready to treat children and adults when sudden injuries, like minor sprains, strains or simple fractures, occur.