Physiatry Tests

Tests Used by the Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Physicians at WTMF

Part of what a doctor of physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R)—also known as a physiatrist—does is diagnose conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system, causing impairment or disability. A physiatrist can also assess how far this damage has progressed and what the level of impairment is for the patient. Physiatry involves treating these conditions using methods designed to emphasize results—with the goal being function.

What To Expect in a Physiatrist Evaluation

A physiatry evaluation involves a complete medical assessment of the patient’s presenting symptoms, including pain, musculoskeletal injuries, soft tissue injuries, or neurological problems. This assessment is conducted from the perspective of a PM&R doctor. Your PM&R doctor may run certain tests to assess for various injuries / disabilities. Finally, at the completion of your independent physiatry evaluation, your physiatrist should have the information necessary to reach a diagnosis and begin a treatment recommendation.

Diagnostic Tests

Some of the diagnostic tests that may be used could include:

  • Electrodiagnostics, including electromyography (EMG), somatosensory evoked potentials, and nerve conduction studies
  • Imaging studies, including computerized tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and musculoskeletal ultrasounds

The information provided by your test results should help guide your physiatrist’s recommendation for treatment. Your physiatrist may lead a team of medical professionals in providing you care. This team could include prosthetists, speech / language pathologists, social workers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, nurses, orthotists, and more. They could also work on a team with other doctors such as orthopaedic surgeons, cardiologists, and neurologists. Physiatrists do not conduct surgeries on their patients; they focus on developing non-invasive treatment plans that include aspects of care such as assistive devices, various therapies, massage, exercise, pain medications, injections, and so on. Our team at Washington Township Medical Foundation can answer your questions about treatment options during your diagnostic appointment.