Non-Surgical Treatment for Back Pain, Joint Problems, Arthritis, Overuse Injuries, Other Orthopedic Conditions
Physiatry, a specialty also known as Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, focuses on non-surgical treatments for injuries and conditions of the musculoskeletal system. Physiatrists also help athletes and non-athletes achieve and maintain their highest levels of function through a personalized, comprehensive treatment approach.
Patients may choose physiatry to try conservative therapies before considering surgery or to manage an ongoing orthopedic condition. Physiatrists are physicians with specialized training in rehabilitation after injury as well as in ways to help patients avoid injury through pre-exercise fitness evaluation or gait and fall risk assessments.
A physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist may order or perform diagnostic tests and offer therapeutic injections or other in-office treatments.
A physiatrist may work in collaboration with a patient’s primary care doctor, orthopedic surgeon or physical therapist. The goal is to develop a treatment plan that eases symptoms in a way that fits with the patient’s home life, activities and resources.
Who Should See a Physiatrist?
Physiatrists treat patients with wide-ranging conditions, including:
- Arthritis of the joints and spine
- Arm and leg pain
- Back pain and neck pain
- Bursitis and tendonitis
- Cancer rehabilitation
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Foot injuries and foot pain
- Hand and finger sprains and strains
- Hip pain and shoulder pain
- Joint injuries affecting the hip, shoulder, elbow, knee and ankle
- Orthopedic trauma rehabilitation
- Overuse injuries
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Sports-related concussion
- Sports and recreational activity injuries
- Stress fractures
- Tendon and ligament injuries, including ACL injuries
How Can a Physiatrist Help?
SLUCare physiatrist Dr. Angela Tripp develops a personalized treatment plan for each patient based on his or her unique needs. That plan may include:
- Exercise therapy
- Manual therapy
- Regenerative medicine
- Therapeutic injections, such as steroid or joint lubrication (hyaluronic acid) injections
- Referrals for physical therapy, occupational therapy, massage, acupuncture or chiropractic care
- Diagnostic testing, including X-rays, nerve conduction studies, and MRI
- Use of supplements or other proven medications
- Referral to an orthopedic surgeon or other specialist, as necessary
Why Choose SLUCare Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation?
Prior to her medical school training and becoming a board-certified physiatrist, Dr. Tripp worked as a physician assistant in orthopedic surgery and as a certified athletic trainer. This background gives Dr. Tripp deep insight into the specialties of orthopedic surgery and sports medicine, making her uniquely qualified to address the needs of athletes and to recognize when an orthopedic condition warrants a surgical consultation.
Dr. Tripp focuses on listening to patients and tailoring her treatment plans to their individual needs.
“I try to give patients choices, rather than making all of the decisions,” says Tripp. “I won’t prescribe methods that aren’t realistic for someone. A care plan should fit with a patient’s lifestyle and improve things for him or her daily.”
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