Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Naturopathic doctors keep a range of therapies and therapeutic tools in their arsenal, including physical medicine and rehabilitation.
For those patients who have had their functional abilities impaired, physical medicine can be part of the overall plan to return to or achieve recovery and in restoring health.
What are Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation?
Patients seek treatment for a range of conditions and impairments, including those that affect the body’s ability to move and function optimally.
Damage to the body’s physical systems can be the result of diseases such as neuromuscular disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, arthritis, peripheral vascular disease, and others. Other impairments may also be the result of injuries from accidents or other physical traumas.
Physical medicine is non-surgical care that can help treat physical impairments or disabilities affecting the brain, spinal cord, nerves, bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons.
The goal of physical medicine and rehabilitation is to help patients recover their functional well-being and to return to a healthy life with optimal functioning. This will look different from person to person.
A naturopathic doctor practicing physical medicine has the skills and expertise to examine and serve the patient’s whole health, instead of focusing on a specific organ or physical system.
How Does a Naturopathic Doctor Use Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation?
A naturopathic doctor will perform a comprehensive examination of the patient. This might include an exam of the musculoskeletal system as well as performing standard diagnostic procedures.
It is also important to have the patient’s complete and detailed medical history, including a list of previous injuries and ailments, as well as accompanying surgeries and therapies. In order to come up with a specialized plan to treat the individual, a full picture is helpful in case there are old underlying or long untreated conditions that need to be considered
What Can Physical Medicine Do For Me?
Naturopathic doctors who practice physical medicine can help restore and enhance physical functioning.
Some of the processes might include:
- Designing a personalized physical therapy regimen
- Examining and advising on health and nutrition to help patients develop healthy habits, and may include protocols that require changes to diet or nutritional intake
- Prescribing and determining a regime of supplements and pharmaceutical treatment, if needed.
- Enlist the support of other medical professionals, which might include psychosocial support or other complementary physical medicine professionals, such as registered massage therapists.
- Communicating with other members of the care team
- Clarifying the value and role of physical therapy in your treatment, instructing patients on proper exercise techniques
The outcomes of physical medicine treatments will vary from person to person. However, the goal, generally, is to improve the quality of life and to maximize a patient’s independence in the activities of daily living.
If you are being held back with chronic pain, old or new injuries, or if you know your body is not functioning to its fullest capacity, seeing a naturopathic doctor who performs physical medicine might be the answer to optimal health.