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Musculoskeletal Care and Rehabilitation

Musculoskeletal conditions are incredibly common — and they can be incredibly painful, too.

And no wonder. Because your musculoskeletal system is exactly what it sounds like — your skeleton and your muscles. But that’s not all. It also includes your tendons, ligaments and soft tissues and is the body system that helps you move. It’s a system with a big job. And when things aren’t working right, you feel it and it can throw your entire life out of whack.

At Cleveland Clinic, our musculoskeletal care and rehabilitation experts are on the job to help things work again. They understand that you could have musculoskeletal pain as a result of natural aging, injury or a health condition. Evaluation by a physical medicine and rehabilitation provider or physiatrist may be the key to getting you moving again. Our experts specialize in reducing your pain and helping you move better. We’ll design a comprehensive and personalized treatment plan that you can start right away.

Why Choose Cleveland Clinic for Musculoskeletal Care and Rehabilitation?

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Comprehensive treatment:

We work side by side with providers who specialize in different areas to make sure you get the care you need, no matter how routine or complex your condition is. Meet our team.

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Specialized knowledge:

Many of our musculoskeletal rehabilitation providers are also trained in fields like orthopaedics, sports medicine, rheumatology, neurology and women’s health, so you get the skilled care you need.

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Personalized Care:

Our providers work to develop musculoskeletal care and rehabilitation plans that target challenges specific to you, to your personal needs and goals. And they consider the whole person and personalize your care.

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Specialized equipment:

Our providers are experienced and highly skilled in using ultrasound imaging to do joint and soft-tissue injections and to drain fluids to reduce pain. This helps our treatments be more precise and effective.

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Virtual visits:

Not up for a trip to your provider’s office? You might be able to have a virtual visit for some appointments. You’ll get the same great care but from the comfort and convenience of home. All you need is an internet connection and your smartphone, computer or tablet.

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National recognition:

Cleveland Clinic is a trusted healthcare leader. We're recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for our expertise and care.

Conditions We Treat With Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation at Cleveland Clinic

There are all kinds of reasons you might need musculoskeletal care and treatment. And how long you need it depends on whether your condition is acute (sudden and short-term) or chronic (long-term).

You might need musculoskeletal rehabilitation if you have:

Meet Our Musculoskeletal Care and Rehabilitation Team

Physiatrists, or physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians (PM&Rs), are at the heart of our musculoskeletal care and rehabilitation program. They specialize in evaluation, treatment and creating a wide-ranging, collaborative approach to get you back to your life.

Which means that PM&Rs don’t do it alone. They work closely and coordinate care with providers from other specialties to make sure your treatment matches your specific needs. Your team could also include:


Our healthcare providers see patients at convenient locations throughout Northeast Ohio and Florida.

Musculoskeletal Care and Rehabilitation at Cleveland Clinic

Your musculoskeletal rehabilitation team will put together a treatment plan that’s customized especially for you. And they’ll work closely with your other healthcare providers to guide you through your plan for as long as you need it. Depending on your needs, your unique rehab plan could include some or all these treatments:  

Steroid injections

Your provider may recommend steroid injections, which send a high dose of medication directly into a joint or soft tissue that’s causing you problems. They may inject the steroids into certain joints of the body to improve pain control, function and mobility. Lumbar epidural steroid injections (ESIs) may be an option for certain types of low back pain and leg pain. Steroid injections help reduce inflammation and irritation, which can relieve your pain and help you feel better.

Physical therapy

If pain, stiffness and discomfort make it hard for you to move, you may work with a licensed physical therapist. They’ll create a customized set of exercises and stretches to help you strengthen your body and improve your movement for the long-term.

Sports therapy

Musculoskeletal pain can also put you on the sidelines of the sport you love. If you were injured while competing or are coping with another issue that’s affecting your ability to play, our sports medicine specialists will work with you to recover and return to play. They’ll put together an exercise therapy program that can improve your ability to move, relieve pain and get you back in action as quickly and as safely as possible.

Occupational therapy

Sometimes, a musculoskeletal condition can make it hard for you to do everyday things like getting dressed, cooking, running errands or working on your computer. Occupational therapy can help you learn (or relearn) how to safely do everything you need to do.

Our occupational therapists will help you live as self-sufficiently as possible. That sometimes means learning to use assistive equipment, like an artificial (prosthetic) limb or a wheelchair. It can also mean learning new exercises or routines that’ll make your body stronger.

Pain management

Living with chronic musculoskeletal pain can disrupt your life, making it hard to sleep, work and enjoy time with your friends and family. Our specialists can help you learn to manage your pain so that can feel more energized and productive and start enjoying life again. Our experts use medications, injections, exercise, therapy and lifestyle changes to reduce or relieve your pain.

Talk therapy

When you have physical challenges, sometimes your mental health takes a nosedive, too. If this happens, your musculoskeletal rehab team can connect you with providers who’ll help you learn to cope with the mental and emotional issues you’re having. Psychotherapy (talk therapy) can help relieve stress, anxiety and depression related to your health condition.


Depending on the type and cause of your musculoskeletal pain, activities like Pilates, yoga, tai chi, swimming or walking may lessen your pain, reduce anxiety and give you a better outlook on life. Your healthcare provider will make recommendations about what physical activities are best for you.

Hands-on treatments

Your musculoskeletal rehabilitation team may work with our integrative medicine specialists to add complementary therapies to your treatment. These treatments are add-ons to traditional medical treatments, not a replacement for them. But they can help bring much-needed relief to musculoskeletal pain anywhere in your body, like your neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and ankles. These hands-on treatments might include:

  • Acupuncture: With this option, your provider inserts fine, steel needles into various “acupoints” on your skin to try to prompt your body to release natural chemicals and relieve your pain.
  • Chiropractic adjustment: Chiropractors use pressure to manipulate and realign your joints to reduce musculoskeletal pain.
  • Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT): Doctors of osteopathic medicine (DO) apply gentle pressure on your muscles, soft tissues and joints to help correct structural imbalances in your body and relieve some of your pain.

Follow-Up Care

It’s important to know that you might still experience symptoms after you’ve finished musculoskeletal rehabilitation. Especially if you have a chronic condition or an injury that’s at risk of returning. But we’ll be here with you beyond your time in rehab to connect you with ongoing follow-up care if you need it.

Taking the Next Step

When musculoskeletal pain has a hold on your life, you want skilled, compassionate healthcare providers who know how to treat your unique needs — providers who treat you like an individual and who really listen to you. Cleveland Clinic’s musculoskeletal rehabilitation experts are ready to help. We’ll find the right combination of therapies and design a personalized treatment plan to help relieve your pain and get you moving again.

Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic’s musculoskeletal rehabilitation experts is easy. We’ll help you get the care you need.


Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic’s musculoskeletal rehabilitation experts is easy. We’ll help you get the care you need.

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