Physical medicine is the branch of medicine that deals with the recovery of the main motor functions that a patient may have lost through surgery, trauma, or disease.

What does a physiatrist do?

A physiatrist deals with the recovery of the main functional disabilities that may have occurred through surgery, trauma, or disease.
The disabilities may have impaired the body's structures, organs, or limbs. It is the aim of the physiatrist to help restore as much as possible the functionality of these skills in order to improve the quality of life of the patient.

What diseases are treated by a physiatrist?

The functions and body structures that may be affected include the functions of the musculoskeletal structures and nervous system related to movement, functions and structures of the cardiovascular and respiratory system, sensory functions, functions and structures of voice and speech, and functions and structures of the genitourinary system such as urinary incontinence. 

Daily activities that can be compromised by the disabilities include learning and application of knowledge, general tasks, communication, mobility, personal care, social, civil and communal interactions, and relationships. 

What are the procedures used by a physiatrist?

The procedures a physiatrist can use include an assessment of functionality, isokinetic test, extracorporeal shockwave therapy, walk test, cardiopulmonary exercise testing, and evaluation of cognitive disorders, autonomic nervous system, language disorders, and urinary continence.

When should a patient visit a physiatrist?

A patient can visit a physiatrist when they are suffering from acute or chronic musculoskeletal pain, or have observed functional limitations of their musculoskeletal system.
In addition to this, the specialist deals with rehabilitation programs such as postoperative orthopedic surgery in the hip or knee, sequela of stroke or neurosurgical intervention, and after-effects of cardio-surgical interventions such as coronary artery bypass grafting and thoracic surgery such as for lung cancer.