Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine

What is a Physiatrist?

Physiatrists (pronounced fi-ZI-uh-trists), or Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) doctors, are MD or DO board-certified physicians who specialize in a wide variety of non-surgical conservative treatments for the musculoskeletal system.

Physiatrists complete four years of graduate medical education and four additional years of residency training. Residency training includes one year spent developing fundamental clinical skills and three years of training in the full scope of the specialty. Many physiatrists choose to complete fellowship training in a specific area of the specialty, such as interventional spine techniques.

To become board-certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiatrists are required to pass both a written and oral examination administered by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (ABPM&R).

Interventional Spine Physiatrists, such as Drs. Stephen Paulus and Mark Miedema, have completed sub-specialty fellowship training for the treatment of spinal conditions such as disc herniation, radiculopathy (sometimes called ‘sciatica’), spine arthritis, spondylolisthesis, and many other disorders that cause discomfort in the back, neck, or extremities.

While our Spine Physiatrists are not “pain medicine doctors,” they treat a wide variety of painful spine conditions with conservative and minimally invasive management techniques. Typical treatments may include:

  • Spine imaging (e.g. x-ray, MRI, CT)
  • Physical Therapy (e.g. exercise, stretching, myofascial release)
  • Prescription medications
  • Electromyographic studies
  • Interventional procedures (e.g. epidural steroid injections, facet injections, radiofrequency neurotomy)

At the OrthoArkansas Spine Center, our physicians are dedicated to providing you with the highest quality of spine care. We look forward to working closely with your medical team to provide accurate diagnosis and development of an individualized treatment plan.