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What is a Physiatrist?

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Spine-Health Announcements
So many times members here talk about their Pain Management doctors. I have referred to my physiatrist many times as my Pain management doctor.

Let me begin with some formal definitions:

A medical doctor with specialized training in physical medicine, rehabilitation and pain medicine. Does not perform surgery

Pain Management Doctor
Pain management is a branch of medicine that applies science to the reduction of pain. It covers a wide spectrum of conditions including neuropathic pain, sciatica, postoperative pain

My physiatrist:
- Specializing in Acute and Chronic Pain
- Neurological and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation
- Medical Acupuncture and Sports Medicine
- Rehabilitative Spine Care
- Lymphedema

What has set my physiatrist far above any of my other doctors is that she has assumed total management of my condition. She has been the one to schedule MRI's, X-Rays, Physical and Aqua Therapy, Deep Tissue Massage, Osteopathic doctors, Meditation therapy, referrals to other Spinal specialist and manages ALL of my medications.

I could not even begin to think where I would be today, if I had not started to see her back in 2006.

Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com


  • Ron,

    This is a great topic. I as well see a physiatrist. Now he just happens to specialize in chronic pain relating to the spine and musculoskeletal system. When I go into see him I am prepared to discuss my meds and any treatments we can try. I keep one note pad with all the discussions we have had and the way I understood them along with any new questions I have. Now I am lucky as to they fill all my meds there and I leave with them in hand. The last piece of business we do is to schedule my appointment for the next visit. Since I use narcotics the appointments have to be every month. I never have a worry about running short on meds or out of them. I always bring my day timer with me to the appointment so the next appointment can be made. I think the key here is that they treat chronic pain. I have been at this particular doctor now since august of 07 and we both realize for the most part I am not going anywhere in the real near future. When I originally went to him he layed the ground work of how it was going to work. At the time I was kind of put off by that meeting thinking what kind of doctor does this? But now over two years later i know the expectations of me as a patient and him as the doctor and it makes the appointments very productive. Because I am work comp there is somethings that i don't want on the record and he is aware of it, but i think he needs to know it to be able to successfully treat me. I make him aware of all the other doctors I see and provide him copies of the notes. In a perfect world he would be free to do as yours is doing and that is what he wants. But we don't have that so we make the best use of what we have. I think it is important for others to realize a condition is chronic and that a longer time frame of treatment is warranted and align yourself in a treatment program designed for that purpose.
  • OK. Well that is so far off the mark of what I thought a Physiatrist was. :B

    I have NO idea where I got the idea from but... I thought this type of Dr worked with the mind and thought process towards pain. Like in Bio-feedback and such.

    So how would one decide to see a Physiatrist instead of a PM ?
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • Why is this in Spine Health Announcements?
    Isn't there a better place to put this?
    I thought announcements were supposed to be more about the site and all?
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    This is just piece of my FAQ. About 70% of my FAQ's are stored in the Announcement section.
    The others are scattered.
    In fact right now I am working with the developers to set up a new forum category (ie FAQ) that I could store all of my FAQ URLs .
    So, for now, you might find them in many different sections.
    I agree, something like this doesnt belong in announcements, but I looked at it as part of the FAQ and not people posting to it.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • MsHumptyDumpty said:
    So how would one decide to see a Physiatrist instead of a PM ?
    I think the beginning of the answer to that question can be found in whether or not you're happy with your current treatment plan. Being unhappy with it wouldn't necessarily mean a physiatrist is the answer to your dreams, but it would certainly be worth exploring other options for care.

    For me, personally, the single most horrible experience I've ever had with any doctor was with a physiatrist. The second physiatrist I saw wasn't any better - I just caught on and fired him more quickly.

    I get the exact type of comprehensive care Ron described from my PM. He's always willing to research and explore other modalities, regardless of which one of us happens to think of them.
  • I'm going to see a physiatrist on Wednesday, first appointment, to confirm either way, if I do have fibromyalgia or not. My PM, who I plan on staying with, believes that I do have it, but he does not like to diagnose. The unfortunate thing is that when I told my PM who I was going to see, he let on that he did not like him!! Yikes!! In keeping with professionalism, the PM would not say anything bad about the physiatrist, just that he is "old school" and does not like to look in to more modern pain management procedures, and pretty much only prescribes meds, but I should be ok with him as I'm only going for testing. Anyways, I hope this doc can help me, in either crossing something off the list, or giving a name to the widespread pain that I have. We'll see!!!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
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