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What is Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation?

"Physical medicine and rehabilitation" (PM&R), also known as "Physiatry" or "Rehabilitation Medicine", (Hindi: भौतिक चिकित्सा एवं पुनर्वास) aims to enhance and restore functional ability and quality of life to those with physical impairments or disabilities affecting the brain, spinal cord, nerves, bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. A physician having completed training (Post MBBS- MD/DNB/Dip.PMR) in this field is referred to as a physiatrist. The goals of the physiatrist are to maximize patients’ independence in activities of daily living and improve quality of life.

Physical Medicine – Word "physical" in Physical Medicine encompasses all three expressions that are pertaining to our Physical State (body), physical agents (heat, light, sound, cold, etc.) and physical activities/exercises. Hence, Physical Medicine may be described as diagnosis and treatment of neuro-musculo-skeletal disorders with the use of medications, modalities, intervention procedures (including surgical procedures), environmental & lifestyle changes, 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. In rehabilitation physiatrists assess the available potential in an individual and improve it to the maximum with different modalities. Where there is permanent or temporary loss in potential they are supplemented with braces, walking aids, splints, artificial limbs, electronic devices etc, in order to gain maximum function.