You get hurt in a car wreck. You see the chiropractor for three months. The manipulations provide some temporary relief but aren’t solving the problem.

Or, you go to see your PCP. She prescribes a muscle relaxer and sends you to PT. That helps with the neck pain but you still have numbness and tingling in your leg.

That’s where the PM&R (Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation) doctor comes in to play:

PM&R doctors are experts in neurology, orthopedics and pain.

Here’s why I think it’s so important to integrate them into the treatment plan:


  1. Figure Out What’s Wrong. PM&R doctors do a great job figuring out what’s wrong with people. They’re natural sleuths and have a broad enough range of expertise to identify problems that other providers miss.


  1. Provide the Right Referrals. PM&R doctors provide all sorts of different treatments themselves. But probably the biggest asset (in terms of treatment) is their ability to act like a general contractor where they both refer to and manage other specialists.


  1. Quantify Impairment. PM&R doctors use the objective standards in the AMA Guidelines to quantify impairment. Quantification is really helpful in cases where the injuries are subjective and there isn’t imaging to show what was damaged.


The PM&R doctor should be the first stop after the ER or Urgent Care. If you’ve been hurt and haven’t seen the PM&R doctor, let us know. We’re happy to refer you to specific doctors with whom we work or help you find someone in your area who can help.

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