Medical Rehabilitation was started in India at KEM Hospital, Mumbai in 1955. Then PM&R departments were opened in AIIMS, Safdarjang Hospital, Lady Hardinge Medical College at New Delhi, CMC, Vellore, and at Chennai etc. All India Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation was setup by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India, at Mumbai in fifties. At present PG diploma and degree courses are conducted in various places.
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation improves the quality of life of the patient through a dynamic team oriented approach. The Physiatrists play a leadership role in the process, providing advisory, supervisory and administrative guidance to the team members. The team members include physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, respiratory therapist, nursing staff, orthotist, prosthetist and others. The traditional medical approach aims “adding years to life” and the Physiatry with the functional model accomplishes “adding life to years”.
Physical Medicine – Word “physical” in Physical Medicine encompasses all three expressions that’s pertaining to our physical-ness (body), physical agents (heat, light, sound, cold, etc.) and physical activities/exercises. Hence, Physical Medicine may be described as diagnosis and treatment of neuromusculoskeletal disorders with the use of medications, modalities, intervention procedures (including surgical procedures) and exercises. Physiatrists use medications, injections, physical modalities, exercises and education, individualized to the patient’s needs. That is why; it is often called “cementing force” between different specialties of modern medicine, having access to all the available modes of treatment.
Rehabilitation - Rehabilitate in Latin (habilitas) means to make able. Rehabilitation is the process of transforming a person with functional limitation to a person with maximal ability through the application of medical treatment, physical modalities, exercises and adaptive devises. Rehabilitation does not reverse or undo the damage caused by disease or trauma, but rather help restore the individual to optimal health, functioning and wellbeing.
PMR Sub-specialties: Due to rapid growth of the Physiatry, sub specialization in the fields like Neuro rehabilitation, Electro diagnosis, Spinal cord injury Medicine, Pain, Pediatrics, Sports medicine, Hospice and Palliative medicine, Sports Injuries, Interventional physiatry etc. are fast developing.