Physiatry is also known as physical medicine and rehabilitation. It is a branch of medicine that specialises in the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of patients suffering from diseases of the musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, and cardiovascular systems.
Operations typically include co-operation with specialists from other fields, such as rheumatology, neurology, internal medicine and orthopedics. Treatment is provided in outpatient clinics, hospital wards when a person has major disabilities, for example, and in rehabilitation centres. As a specialist field, physiatry is often consulted by other specialist fields.
Physiatrists compose plans for medical and professional rehabilitation and participate in implementing and supervising the implementation of these plans. Other tasks include performing work capacity evaluations and rehabilitation examinations on patients with diseases. Physiatrists work in close co-operation with physical therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, social workers, prosthetists and orthotists, and occupational health care.
Typical patient groups
Patients visiting a physiatrist typically suffer from problems of the musculoskeletal system, including back, neck, joint and upper limb symptoms, in particular, or joint and soft tissue disorders.
The most demanding groups comprise patients with multiple diseases and conditions.
Viewing a patient's condition from a holistic perspective is at the core of physiatry, which aims to compose an appropriate rehabilitation programme using a combination of therapeutic measures, if necessary.
Physical rehabilitation in the HUS Area
There are three physiatric outpatient clinics in the HUCH Hospital Area, at Vega House in Helsinki, and Jorvi and Peijas hospitals.
Physiatric outpatient clinics are also located at Hyvinkää and Lohja hospitals.