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  5. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

What is a pediatric physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist?

A physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) specialist, or physiatrist, helps develop, enhance, and restore functional ability and quality of life to children with physical impairments or disabilities. PM&R specialists at McLane Children’s manage disorders that alter a child’s physical function and performance.

We emphasize developing functional skills through coordinated and combined use of medications, physical modalities (such as heat and cold therapy and electrical nerve and muscle stimulation), and physical training with therapeutic exercise, movement, and other activities. We also employ adaptive equipment and assistive devices, orthotics (braces), prosthetics, and experiential training approaches. The rehabilitative team works with a child’s pediatrician and other specialists involved in his or her care to achieve the best possible outcome.

Many illnesses, diseases, and injuries that involve pain, paralysis, weakness, or deformity have the potential to be significantly improved by PM&R physicians and rehabilitative therapists. Our physicians also perform electrodiagnostic studies to help diagnose and determine the prognosis of various muscle and nerve disorders. These may include nerve conduction or electromyography studies.

What services does a  pediatric physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist provide?

  • Evaluation and management of spasticity; coordinating the members of the rehabilitation team in the treatment program (Treatment may include stretching exercises, splinting, Botulinum toxin injections, or baclofen pump management.)
  • Evaluation for appropriate medical and rehabilitative equipment such as splints, braces, or prosthetics
  • Evaluation and management of the rehabilitative needs of children with physical disabilities or illnesses and those with injuries sustained through accidents, including:
    • Cerebral palsy or childhood stroke
    • Muscular dystrophy
    • Other musculoskeletal and neurological disorders
    • Heart and lung disorders
    • Chronic pain associated with illness
    • Chronic disabling conditions
    • Head injury
    • Spinal cord injury
    • Trauma-related accidents, such as sports, home, or motor vehicle accidents

Read more about the pediatric physical medicine and rehabilitation services available through McLane Children’s.