A physiatrist is a physician who has specialized training in physical rehabilitation. Physiatrists are physicians who treat a wide range of problems from sore shoulders to spinal cord injuries. The focus of the specialty is on restoring function to people. A physiatrist may treat patients directly, lead an interdisciplinary team, or act as a consultant. This specialty serves all age groups and treats problems that touch upon all the major systems in the body.
Physiatrists offer a broad spectrum of medical services. They do not perform surgery. Physiatrists may prescribe drugs or assistive devices, such as a brace or artificial limb. They also use diverse therapies such as heat and cold, electrotherapies, massage, biofeedback, traction and therapeutic exercise.