Common treatments used by physiatrists

Surgery should be the last resort


Physiatrists employ a number of clinically proven, evidence-based, outcome-focused treatments that are designed to be minimally invasive and help you heal and recover faster.

Physical Therapy:

Physical therapy helps to improve function and strengthen damaged body parts through the use of specific movements, exercises and mechanical force. Physical therapy may be specialized to most effectively treat your injury or illness.

Epidural Injections:

A minimally invasive procedure in which anti-inflammatory steroid medication is injected into the spinal column to alleviate pain. It is often used to treat spondylosis, disc herniation, spinal stenosis, and other nerve impingement.

Facet Joint Injections:

Facet joints are small joints at the base of each vertebra. When these joints become inflamed, the doctor injects a small quantity of local anesthetic to numb the nerve and help the patient engage in daily activities and rehabilitation exercises.

Medial Branch Nerve Blocks:

This is an injection that blocks the nerves in the small medial nerves in a specific facet joint in the patient’s spine. If the patient experiences immediate and marked pain relief, that joint can be determined to be to the underlying cause of the pain and subsequently treated.

Radiofrequency Neurotomy:

This procedure uses radio waves to temporarily interfere with the ability of nerves to transmit pain signals. The radio waves are transmitted into the body via tiny needles inserted into specific nerves (often in the spine) to provide immediate pain relief.

Ganglion Impar Nerve Blocks:

This is a minimally invasive injection into a bundle of nerves called that reside just above the tailbone (coccyx). The treatment can help to quickly diagnose and immediately provide relief from chronic pain of the pelvis, groin, hips and lower abdomen.

Lumbar Discography:

A last-resort procedure used to discover the cause of difficult to diagnose causes of debilitating leg or back pain. Small needles introduce dye into the discs of your spine under x-ray. If there is pain during the procedure, that disc can be treated as the underlying cause of the chronic pain.

Intra-Articular Joint Injections:

To treat pain and inflammation inside a specific joint, an injection of anti-inflammatory corticosteroids is introduced directly into the open space of the joint. This reduces pain and swelling within the moving (articulated) pieces of the joint and can accelerate healing.

Trigger Point Injections:

Used to treat painful areas that contain muscular “trigger points,” or “knots” of tightened muscle tissue that do not relax when they are supposed to. A small amount of local anesthetic and a corticosteroid are injected into the trigger point to reduce inflammation and relax the muscle.


This treatment uses a patient’s own healthy cells or tissue to repair the damaged area. Healthy cells are extracted, isolated and re-introduced into the affected area to stimulate natural healing and repair⁠—​with dramatic improvements in outcomes.

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