Physical Medicine And Rehabilitation (Physiatry)

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Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is a specialization that deals with patients’ musculoskeletal and neurological problems. It emerged in the 1930s to address these issues more closely and further developed after World War II.

The treatment of veterans with disabilities after the war contributed to the advancement of this field. The primary goal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is to enhance functional abilities. The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation department was officially recognized as an independent specialty in the United States in 1947.

What Is Physical Therapy?

Physical Therapy includes treatment methods that use physical agents and techniques such as heat, light, electrical currents, exercise, which can be applied alone or in conjunction with other treatments in many diseases, including musculoskeletal diseases, neurological diseases, and rheumatic diseases.

After a physical examination, the patient is evaluated along with X-ray and laboratory findings. A specific physical therapy program is designed for each patient.

Accurate diagnosis and consequently, the correct formulation of treatment are necessary for the effectiveness of the treatment. One of the important factors in the effectiveness of treatment is the patient’s adherence to and compliance with the treatment program.

What Is Rehabilitation?

The term “rehabilitation,” which means repair, restoration, and reintegration, encompasses efforts aimed at removing barriers caused by an individual’s existing illness. These efforts are designed to enable the person to maintain a normal life, both professionally and socially, and to utilize their existing abilities to the fullest.

The goal of rehabilitation is to grant independence in all aspects of daily life.

Who Is A Physical Medicine And Rehabilitation Specialist?

A Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist, also known as a Physiatrist, is a medical doctor in Turkiye who specializes in diagnosing and planning treatment for musculoskeletal and neurological conditions. To become a Physiatrist in Turkiye, one must complete medical school and then pass a specialized entrance exam to begin a 4-year residency program.

After successfully completing the 4-year residency program, a medical graduate becomes a certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist. Physiatrists focus on preventing, diagnosing, and treating diseases related to the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Their goal is to improve the medical, social, emotional, and occupational quality of life for patients who have experienced injuries or illnesses.

Physiatrists often work as part of a multidisciplinary team, which may include doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists, orthotists, social workers, occupational therapists, and vocational counselors.

The patient’s condition is assessed, areas requiring support for improvement are identified, and plans are developed to address these specific areas.

The Fields Of Application For A Physical Medicine And Rehabilitation Specialist

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Physiatry) is a branch with a very broad range of applications. In addition to preventive medicine for disability, disease, and injury prevention, this field encompasses the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal system-related injuries and/or illnesses following injury or disease.

It is a specialization that deals with pre-operative and post-operative rehabilitation practices, pain management, and the necessary treatments to enhance an individual’s functionality.

What Diseases Does a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist Treat?

  • Neck and back pain
  • Joint pains such as shoulder, knee, hip, ankle, wrist
  • Muscle pains (muscular strain/sprain, myofascial pain syndrome, etc.)
  • Inflammatory rheumatic diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, etc.)
  • Fibromyalgia and chronic pain syndrome
  • Problems related to spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Sports-related issues
  • Injuries resulting from repetitive activities
  • Amputations (loss of limbs like arm or leg)
  • Stroke (cerebral stroke)
  • Rehabilitation for heart diseases
  • Rehabilitation for lung diseases
  • Rehabilitation for cancer patients
  • Rehabilitation for pediatric patients (cerebral palsy, myopathies, etc.)
  • Rehabilitation for elderly patients
  • Burn rehabilitation
  • Trauma rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation after joint replacement
  • Speech, language, cognition, and swallowing rehabilitation
  • Neuropathies (manifesting with symptoms such as numbness, burning, tingling, electric sensations, muscle weakness, loss of balance)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Multiple sclerosis rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation for Parkinson’s patients
  • Rehabilitation of spinal deformities such as scoliosis, kyphosis
  • Lymphedema treatment

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