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Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

TOC’s Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Center physicians, known as Physiatrists, specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation. It is a specialty focused on prevention, diagnosis, and non-surgical treatment of many disorders. Physical medicine focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. Rehabilitation focuses on applying principles and techniques to make a person with a disability “maximally able”. Physiatry is a team oriented medical specialty that strives to promote a person’s quality of life and functional outcomes. It blends the traditional medical model (adding years to life) with the functional model (adding life to years). Physiatry is aptly named the “quality of life” medical specialty. The goal is to restore optimal patient function in all spheres of life.

Physiatrists treat a broad range of medical disorders which include:

  • Amputations
  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Industrial injuries
  • Neuromuscular disease
  • Neuropathies
  • Orthopaedic injuries
  • Pain
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Trauma

Overall, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation covers a wide range of medical fields and disorders. Physiatrists must have a vast knowledge of these fields: Orthopaedics, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Vascular (amputee), Medicine, Occupational Medicine, and Pain Management. The primary role is restoring and maximizing function. There must also be a broad knowledge of musculoskeletal anatomy, kinesiology, and neuromuscular physiology. Physiatrists also have extensive backgrounds in the use of medications, selective injections, modalities, and therapeutic exercise. The team oriented approach can lead to treatments at many settings that include a hospital, a rehab center, or a private practice. This usually causes a coordination of rehab specialists, consisting of physical therapists, occupational therapists, rehabilitation nursing, safety directors, ergonomic specialists, company nurses and case managers.

Diagnostic Tools

Diagnostic tools include most general medical tools, such as patient history and physical exam, radiology, laboratory, ultrasound, and nuclear medicine. There is also some specialized testing. This includes electromyography (EMG), nerve conduction studies (NCS), somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEP), and motor evoked potentials (MEP). There are a wide range of treatments.

Some examples are:

  • Medications (NSAIDS, muscle relaxants, opiods)
  • Modalities (U/S, E-stim, TENS, heat, cold)
  • Assistive devices (walker, wheelchair, brace)
  • Physical and Occupational Therapy
  • Massage (therapeutic, neuromuscular)

Treatment Tools

Interventional procedures are commonly performed by physiatrists. These include:

  • General joint injections (knee, shoulder, wrist)
  • Epidural Steroid Injections (ESI)
  • Facet / medial branch blocks
  • Radiofrequency lesioning (RFL)
  • Nerve blocks (phenol)
  • Intradiscal procedures (discogram, IDET)
  • Intrathecal pumps (baclofen, morphine)
  • Spinal cord stimulators
  • Botox
  • Trigger point injections


To request an appointment

To request an appointment with our office, please call (256) 428-3030 or complete our online appointment request form.

COVID-19  and our commitment to you

TOC cares.

Your health is a very important part of your life. In trying times like this, we are faced with many uncertainties. But one certain thing is that TOC is here and committed to the safety and orthopaedic needs of our patients.

We have been paying close attention to COVID-19 (“Coronavirus Disease 2019). As news and information regarding Coronavirus is rapidly changing, it’s our promise to keep you informed and be here for you every step of the way. We encourage you to contact your TOC location to reschedule your appointment if you:

Everyone can take precautions against the spread of Coronavirus, including:

Read more about Steps to Prevent Illness from the CDC here