Michigan Center for Regenerative Medicine
  • (248) 216-1008

  • 1349 South Rochester Rd Suite #130
    Rochester Hills, MI 48307

What is the Difference Between Physical Therapy and Physiatry?

What is the Difference Between Physical Therapy and Physiatry?

In a previous blog, we discussed the role of a Physiatrist and how these medical professionals are most apt to work with patients to increase function as opposed to immediately recommend surgery. At the Michigan Center for Regenerative Medicine, we’re extremely passionate about leveraging the power of physiatry to help people avoid surgery, reduce pain and regain additional movement and function in their lives.

One question that we’re often asked is what’s the difference between physical therapy and physiatry? The answer is quite a bit, which is why we’re dedicating this blog to answering that very question.

Primary Differences Between a Physiatrist and Physical Therapist 

While physical therapy and physiatry are closely related, they are also different in quite a few ways. Below are just a few of the differences between these two types of rehabilitation.

Physiatry is More Comprehensive Than Physical Therapy

Physiatry is a much more comprehensive form of treatment than physical therapy. A Physical Therapist has training in certain exercises that can be used to gain mobility and improve range of motion, but they’re not able to prescribe any medications.

A Physiatrist Has More Training With Coexisting Disorders 

Because of a Physiatrist’s extensive medical training, they’re more able to spot coexisting disorders which could be causing organ issues. For instance, they can identify exercises that may be good for individuals dealing with Diabetes or heart failure.

Physical Therapy is Often State Dependent

Depending on the state where you live will determine how you receive physical therapy. In Michigan as an example, you must receive a prescription for physical therapy from a physician.

A Physiatrist and Physical Therapist Can Work Hand in Hand

At the Michigan Center for Regenerative Medicine, we often work hand in hand with physical therapists in the area. Unlike some other medical providers, we like to be a part of the complete rehabilitation process, which may include writing a prescription for physical therapy, but also recommending specific modalities and treatment methods to help make the physical therapy process more effective. We look at physical therapy as an integral part of a comprehensive approach to patient care.

Should you have any questions about the intersection between physiatry and physical therapy, feel free to reach out to Dr. Nabity and the team at the Michigan Center for Regenerative Medicine. We’ll be happy to sit down with you to discuss your condition and determine whether a combined approach of physiatry in conjunction with physical therapy could be beneficial for you. Give us a call today at (248) 216-1008 to setup an appointment.


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