Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
A physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor, also known as a physiatrist, is an orthopedist who specializes in non-surgical treatments for joint, tendon, ligament and muscle injuries.
If you have an orthopedic injury or condition but are not ready for surgery, a visit with a UC San Diego Health physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist may help you better understand your non-surgical treatment options. In addition, your physiatrist can perform advanced diagnostic tests such as electromyography and nerve conduction studies to more accurately understand the cause of your problems.
Nationally Ranked Orthopedic Care
Count on us to help you move well and without pain. We are repeatedly ranked among the nation's best for orthopedic care by U.S. News & World Report and are the Official Health Care Provider of the San Diego Padres. We are also a designated Center of Excellence for orthopedic care by Optum. Look to us for expert, safe and cost-effective care.
Physiatrists treat all types of conditions and diseases affecting your muscular-skeletal and neuromuscular function.
Physiotherapy or therapeutic exercise is a cornerstone of physical medicine. You will likely be referred to physical therapy if your physiatrist believes a targeted exercise program can help you.
Your doctor may also recommend an injection to reduce inflammation, pain and help confirm a diagnosis. Injections are a common treatment for people who are not ready or a good candidate for surgery.
Types of joint injections that we offer include:
- Steroid injections
- Hyaluronic acid injections
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections
- Ultrasound-guided injection procedures
Your physiatrist can also perform spinal injections for back pain and sacroiliac joint pain, including:
- Epidural steroid injections
- Diagnostic nerve blocks
- Radiofrequency ablation
- Facet joint injections
- Sacroiliac (SI) joint injections
Osteopathic Manual Manipulation (OMT)
Osteopathic manual manipulation involves stretching, gentle pressure and resistance to move muscles and joints. It can restore function in some people by:
- Changing resting tension in a muscle or tendon
- Improving alignment of bones and joints
- Altering structures impinging on nerves
- Releasing stress held in myofascial tissue
Braces, Orthotics, Prostheses and Adaptive Equipment
Orthopedic devices, orthotics, prostheses and other adaptive equipment can help:
- Support and correct the function of an injured or damaged part of the body
- Treat and prevent all types of chronic pain
- Help amputee patients attain a greater level of functional independence
A poorly designed workspace can cause and aggravate chronic pain. Your physiatrist can provide recommendations for an ergonomic office or at-home work environment.