Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) physicians, also known as physiatrists, are specialists in the care of neurological and musculoskeletal conditions.
Cleveland Clinic PM&R physicians specialize in the care of orthopaedic and rheumatologic conditions such as joint and soft-tissue injuries, sprains and strains, back pain, arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis and other chronic conditions involving the bones, joints or muscles.
We work side-by side with orthopaedic surgeons and rheumatologists to care for complex or multi-faceted care plans for the most impaired patients. We prescribe therapies and work closely with therapists to guide patients through a rehabilitation plan. Some of our physicians have "dual" appointments at both Orthopaedics and Cleveland Clinic's Neurological Institute, where they provide EMG (electrodiagnosis) and/or Spine Injection procedures. These inter-disciplinary connections are very valuable in getting patients to the most appropriate sub-specialist for their problem.
All of our physicians have advanced training in the use of ultrasound imaging to accurately perform joint and soft-tissue injections and aspirations (drainage of fluid). This technique has been shown to:
- Improve safety
- Reduce pain during procedures
- Improve patients' outcomes
It is particularly useful for deeper injections, very small or very arthritic joints, and procedures that are close to nerves or blood vessels. On certain occasions, ultrasound may be used right at the patient's bedside to make a diagnosis.
Sports and Performing Arts Injuries
Most of our physicians have sub-specialty fellowship training in sports medicine. We interact regularly with our Center for Sports Health and Sports Rehabilitation Services to help return athletes and musicians to their activities as soon as possible. Our physicians are well-equipped to evaluate new sports injuries, but we also provide second-opinion consultations for difficult or unique athletic conditions.
Complex Neurological Conditions
Our physicians have a unique background in the long-term care of very complex conditions such as stroke, spinal cord injury, brain injury, and multiple sclerosis. These conditions are usually managed in the Neurological Institute by other Cleveland Clinic physiatrists; however, our physicians provide knowledgeable care for musculoskeletal conditions that come as a result of these neurological syndromes. Examples are: shoulder tendonitis from long-term wheelchair use, or knee arthritis in a patient with a chronic foot-drop.
- Learn more about the Musculoskeletal Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Fellowship
- Learn more about the Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship