Has anyone seen a Physiatrist?

    • Anonymous
      December 13, 2006 at 11:46 am

      Hi, I was wondering if anyone has been treated by a Physiatrist? My neurologist is no longer practicing in our home town and there is not another one very close by. I have an appointment with a Neurologist in Feb. who is about 85 miles away.
      There is a new orthapediac clinic opening here and they have a Physiatrist come once a month from a larger city. My physical therapist thought it might be a good thing to try since I am walking some and the main problems of CIDP are in my lower legs and drop feet. Would appreciate any advice or suggestions.
      Thanks, Regina

    • December 13, 2006 at 6:03 pm

      I was seen by a physiatrist at the beginning of the diagnostic period for my neurological problem. The physiatrist ran the standard EMG tests and then referred me to a neurologist for diagnosis and treatment. What I know – which is very little – of the area covered by “physical medicine”, the area of expertise for a physiatrist, would not have a physiatrist treating neuropathies especially not one as seemingly complex as CIDP. The following is info I picked up from the Ohio State school of medicine:
      “A Physiatrist is a medical doctor who has specialized in the area of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R). PM&R is the field of medicine that is primarily involved in improving the functional ability and quality of life of people with congenital or acquired disabilities. A Physiatrist not only manages the rehabilitation of people with strokes, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries and other severely disabling conditions, he/she also is involved in taking care of individuals with work injuries, sports injuries, amputations, or chronic pain.

      A Physiatrist also performs EMGs and nerve conduction studies to evaluate people for problems with their muscles and nerves. In addition to utilizing traditional medical treatments, Physiatrists work closely with other rehabilitation professionals such as physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, rehabilitation nurses, psychologists, and social workers to provide the most comprehensive, quality care possible. ”

      I hope this is of some help.

    • Anonymous
      December 13, 2006 at 8:37 pm

      I’m currently seeing a Physiatrist as I rehab from my current CIDP relapse. I also saw one earlier in the year as I rehabbed from GBS. They’ve just focused on rehab by managing my PT and OT….they let my neuro team manage the CIDP.

    • Anonymous
      December 13, 2006 at 11:39 pm

      Nate’s neuro sent one in to see Nate early in his diagnosis of gbs to help decide which meds would be helpful to Nate.
      They put him on Elavil, Trazadone and Lexapro, all anti-depressants.
      I’m glad they did.
      The doc told me many gbs patients just give up and don’t get better if they aren’t given any.
      I sure didn’t want to see that happen to Nate.
      His regular doc has kept him on all the same drugs since he got home also and added a few others too.

    • Anonymous
      December 14, 2006 at 10:56 am

      [B]Since Bill explained what a Physiatrist is and does, here my explanation of what I know about Psychiatrists:[/B]

      Before seeing a psychiatrist I definitely would find out what his or her approach is. Although they are medical doctors going through the same residency training as other doctors they have to spend additional years in their speciality. Psychiatrists generally do not treat physical illnesses, nor do they do PT, they specialize in treating psychological symptoms. Of course, sometimes a psychological issue may be the underlying cause for a physical illness. So both have to be looked at.

      Psychiatrist may use different approaches. There is the psychoanalytical approach going back to your past. The doctor may say very little and let you do all the talking (I had one of those once). They may do dream analysis. Another may use a systems approach or another may be a Jungian analyst. A third may use an ecclectic approach, that is a combination of what works best.

      Neither a psychiatrist nor a phyciatrist can take the place of a neurologist. They simply don’t have the training for that. If you are terribly depressed because of your illness or other reasons, if you have a compulsion or devastating fear of something, or overwhelming stress, a psychiatrist is the right person to go to. I personally would prefer a psychologist.

    • Anonymous
      December 14, 2006 at 11:01 am

      [QUOTE=jcrone]I’m currently seeing a Physiatrist as I rehab from my current CIDP relapse. I also saw one earlier in the year as I rehabbed from GBS. They’ve just focused on rehab by managing my PT and OT….they let my neuro team manage the CIDP.[/QUOTE]

      [B]Regina67 and jcrone [/B] There seems to be a bit of confusion. A Physiatrist is a physical therapist with medical training, usually a doctor, a psychiatrist is a doctor treating psychological problems. [B]Natesmom[/B] is talking about a psychiatrist, the others about a Physiatrist. They are not the same.

    • Anonymous
      December 14, 2006 at 6:03 pm


      I saw a physiatrist during my recovery from GBS. He was a great help in coordinating what kinds of therapy (PT, OT, speech therapy) would be most helpful for me.

      He also was a tremendous help with getting my insurance reviews for private disability insurance completed. In fact, he’s the one who suggested that I apply, because he knew enough to know that GBS is long term and often translates to some form or permanent disability.

      I think the wife of one of our forum members is a physiatrist. Swimm, is that correct?


    • Anonymous
      December 16, 2006 at 12:54 am

      The physiatrist I see for pain management has asked me when my CIDP is going away and when will the IVIG stop. I said, “Does MS go away?” He had told me he knew about my illness.
      As for psychiatrists-they are the only doctor that makes sure you do not leave their office without one if not several prescriptions. I would worry if one gave a family member THREE for depression-that’s alot. Are they being carefully monitored?? Depression is secondary to GBS/CIDP. Anti-depressives are recommended for short term use. I’ve seen too many folks drugged from overmedication from the psychiatrists. Those guys scare me.

    • Anonymous
      December 18, 2006 at 8:26 pm

      I looked at that word and saw psychiatrist. LOL