Physical medicine and rehabilitation, also known as Physiatry, is a branch of medicine that aims to enhance and restore functional ability and quality of life to people with physical impairments or disabilities. This can include conditions such as spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, strokes, as well as pain or disability due to muscle, ligament, or nerve damage.
The major goal of physical medicine and rehabilitation treatment is to help a person function optimally within the limitations placed upon them by a disabling impairment or disease process for which there is no known cure. The emphasis is not on the full restoration to the premorbid level of function, but rather the optimization of the quality of life for those not able to achieve a full restoration.
A team approach to chronic conditions is emphasized to coordinate the care of patients. Comprehensive rehabilitation is provided by specialists in this field, who act as facilitators, team leaders, and medical experts for rehabilitation.