Physical medicine and rehabilitation is a field of medicine focused on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders that involve the nerves, muscles, and bones, or conditions affecting the brain. Rehabilitation physicians, also called physiatrists, treat disorders or injuries that affect movement with the goal of improving function and quality of life.
Rehabilitation is critically important for children to help them grow and develop into adulthood and live independent lives. Our newly established Pediatric Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service provides specialized care for children with neuromuscular disorders and other related conditions. Our service seeks to improve the quality of life for children with special needs and their families, with a particular focus on children with cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, spina bifida, traumatic brain injury, pediatric stroke, and neuropathies, such as Guillain-Barre syndrome. We also specialize in treating brachial plexus injury, torticollis, and chronic pain, and work with children whose condition involves stiff muscles, such as those with cerebral palsy.
The Pediatric Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service offers a variety of treatment approaches, including physical therapy, biofeedback, occupational therapy and speech therapy to improve the child's physical movement and coordination, speech, vision, and intellectual development. In addition, our staff provide help with cognitive functioning in traumatic brain injury and pharmaceutical intervention, spasticity management, drooling management with botulinum toxin, management of chronic pain, and the combined use of Botox and phenol with a spinal drug-delivery system called the Intrathecal Baclofen Pump for spasticity and dystonia.
Rehabilitating children with special needs presents unique challenges. We continually tailor our treatments based on the child's anticipated growth. For example, by using Botox to treat muscle stiffness in young children with cerebral palsy, the physiatrist can manage their symptoms as they grow, reducing the need for multiple orthopedic surgeries. We work closely with families to make sure all the physical and emotional needs of their child are met.
The Pediatric Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service has a multidisciplinary team of nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech language pathologists who work together to improve the child's function and reduce the need for orthopaedic surgery.