Patient Education

What is Physiatry?

What is Physiatry?

A physiatrist (fizz ee at' trist) is a physician specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Physiatrists treat a wide range of problems from sore shoulders to spinal cord injuries. They see patients in all age groups and treat problems that touch upon all the major systems in the body. These specialists focus on restoring function to people.

To become a physiatrist, individuals must successfully complete four years of graduate medical education and four additional years of postdoctoral residency training. Residency training includes one year spent developing fundamental clinical skills and three additional years of training in the full scope of the specialty.

There are 80 accredited residency programs in physical medicine and rehabilitation in the United States. Many physiatrists choose to pursue additional advanced degrees (MS, PhD) or complete fellowship training in a specific area of the specialty. Fellowships are available for specialized study in such areas as musculoskeletal rehabilitation, pediatrics, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and sports medicine.

To become board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, physiatrists are required to pass both a written and oral examination administered by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (ABPM&R). The ABPM&R also has agreements with each of the boards of pediatrics, internal medicine, and neurology to allow special training programs leading to certification in both specialties.

Physiatrists treat acute and chronic pain and musculoskeletal disorders. They may see a person who lifts a heavy object at work and experiences back pain, a basketball player who sprains an ankle and needs rehabilitation to play again, or a knitter who has carpal tunnel syndrome. Physiatrists' patients include people with arthritis, tendonitis, any kind of back pain, and work- or sports-related injuries.

Physiatrists also treat serious disorders of the musculoskeletal system that result in severe functional limitations. They would treat a baby with a birth defect, someone in a bad car accident, or an elderly person with a broken hip. Physiatrists coordinate the long-term rehabilitation process for patients with spinal cord injuries, cancer, stroke or other neurological disorders, brain injuries, amputations, and multiple sclerosis.

Physiatrists practice in rehabilitation centers, hospitals, and in private offices. They often have broad practices, but some concentrate on one area such as pediatrics, sports medicine, geriatric medicine, brain injury, or many other special interests.

Source: American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

What is Pain Management?

What is Pain Management


All doctors manage and treat pain. However, Pain Physicians are specialists from Anesthesiology, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Orthopedic surgery, Physiatry, and Psychiatry specialize in the treatment of patients with both acute and chronic pain. In addition, our allied members are nurse practitioners, pharmacists, physician assistants, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and nurses, who are actively involved on pain treatment teams that are headed by pain medicine physicians.

The goal of Pain specialists and their associates is the following:

  • Diagnose and attempt to find a/the source(s) causing pain.
  • If the source is identified, every attempt is made to stop the pain generator(s)or, at least decrease its affect on the patient's quality of life.
  • If a pain diagnosis or source is not readily identifiable, the goal of any treatment is to provide the patient the best quality of life possible by utilizing state-of-the-art techniques which include injections, medication management, comprehensive care with other providers, and a holistic approach towards the patient as a person.

Because pain is very subjective, each person experiences pain in a different way. There is no objective measurement for pain. Pain Specialists try to ​look at all aspects of a persons life to develop an individualized treatment plan to improve quality of life as well as activities of daily living.

Professional Organizations

• American Academy of Pain Medicine
• American Pain Society
• American Academy of Pain Management

Additional Resources

• Epidural Steroid Injection
• Spinal Stimulators
• Radiofrequency Denervation / Facet Joint Neurotomy
• Intrathecal Pumps

Educational Videos

Spinal Stimulators and Intrathecal Pumps

Services Provided

Below are some of the conservative, non-surgical solutions we provide:

• Chronic Pain
• Concussion - Brochure - Video
• Muscular Dystrophy
• Muscle or Joint Pain in the Spine or Extremities
• Musculoskeletal Disorders
• Orthopedic Injuries
• Spasticity Management
• Spinal Cord Injury
• Stiff or Rigid Muscles
• Stroke - Brochure - Video
• Traumatic Brain Injury - Brochure - Video

• Nerve and Muscle Electrical Activity Testing/ Electromyography (EMG) - Brochure - Video

• Impairment Ratings
• Independent Medical Exams
• Workers’ Compensation Injuries (Idaho Only)

• Botulinum Injections for Spasticity and Migraine Headaches
• Epidural Steroid Injections

• Fluoroscopic Spine Injections
• Intrathecal Pumps - Brochure - Video
• Medication Management
• Nerve Blocks
• Prolotherapy - Brochure - Video
• Radiofrequency Ablation
• Spinal Cord Stimulation - Brochure - Video
• Trigger Point Injections - Brochure - Video
• Ultrasound Guided Injections