Physical Therapy & Physiatry
Physical Therapy at Washington Township Medical Foundation
Many people ask: What is the difference between physiatry and physical
therapy? This is an understandable question, as both medical professionals
are responsible for treating patients who present similar sets of symptoms.
The major difference is that physical therapists are not trained doctors
who have attended medical school and finished a residency program. Physiatrists,
on the other hand, are licensed physicians who have completed all the
requisite training. Another name for physiatrist is physical medicine
and rehabilitation (PM&R) physician.
However, physical therapy may be used as part of a treatment plan created
by a physiatrist in treating a patient with a musculoskeletal disorder.
Additional, physical therapists may work under a physiatrist as part of
a team providing care for a patient. The physiatrist does not perform
the actual therapy, but rather diagnoses the condition and prescribes
a course of treatment, to be followed by the physical therapists. PM&R
physicians and physical therapists can work together in providing care
for their patients. Our goal is to assist and support our patients with
holistic, whole-body care.
Some conditions that may be benefitted by physical therapy include:
- Spasticity management
- Autonomic dysreflexia
- Gait / movement ataxia
- Pain management
- Neurogenic bowel / bladder