What is a Physiatrist, and Should I See One?

Have you injured your back, or do you have spine pain that just won’t get better? If so, your first visit at the Emory Spine Center should be with an Emory Physiatrist. Physiatrists are physicians who’ve earned medical degrees in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. We’re experts at diagnosing and treating pain, and we’re your first stop for back pain relief—and, in many cases, your last.

As Physiatrists, we focus on the whole person, not just the injury. Our first job is to find out where your pain is coming from so that we can address it, but we’ll also work with you to prevent future injuries.

Successful treatment requires the right diagnosis. At the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center, we have a variety of diagnostic tools and tests on site, including CT scans, X-Rays, and MRIs, that we use to locate the exact source of your pain so that we can treat it effectively. The good news is, more than 90% of spine cases can be treated without surgery.

Once we have determined the cause of your pain, we can provide you with non-operative and minimally invasive treatment options—also called interventional treatments—to ease your pain and get you back to good health. If spine surgery is called for, we’ll work with the Emory spine surgeons to coordinate the best treatment plan specific to your condition.

To recap, physiatrists…

  • Are experts at diagnosing and treating pain
  • Treat the whole person, not just the problem area
  • Provide nonsurgical treatments
  • Work not only on treatment but also prevention

If you’ve injured your back or have disabling back pain, make an appointment to see an Emory physiatrist. We’re here to help you feel better.

Have you seen a physiatrist for back pain? Do you have questions about nonsurgical spine treatments? We welcome your feedback in the comments section below.

About Jose Garcia-Corrada, MD:

Dr. Garcia-Corrada is an Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He joined the Emory faculty in 2001 and served as chief of Rehabilitation Medicine at Emory-Wesley Woods Center prior to joining the Emory Spine Center in 2005. Dr. Garcia is board certified in the specialties of Physiatry and Pain Medicine.

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