What is Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation?

With Dr. John Ledington of Northern Arizona Orthopaedics

Northern Arizona Orthopaedics is a multifaceted orthopedic practice. Our physicians have experience in treating all orthopedic and spine conditions or injuries. We offer surgical and non-surgical treatment plans to ensure we are fitting the needs of all our patients personalized care goals. As a part of the Spine and Pain Center at Northern Arizona Orthopaedics, Dr. Ledington treats patients based around a non-surgical care plan for spinal conditions. This specialty approach is called Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.

What is Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation?

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is a medical specialty where physicians are known as Physiatrists. Physiatrists work alongside other physicians such as orthopedic physicians to help treat patients with chronic pain or injuries to their bodies. Physiatrists receive specialized training to treat a wide range of medical conditions that affect the brain, spinal cord, nerves, muscles, joints and ligaments, which if not treated, can lead to short term or long term cognitive or physical impairments.

How do I know if Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is right for me?

Most temporary and long-standing back and neck conditions such as a pinched nerve, can be treated and managed without the need for surgery. If you are unsure what care path is right for you, we suggest scheduling an appointment with one of our physicians to discuss your concerns, symptoms and individual goals. This will allow one of our providers to perform a physical examination, discuss your concerns and symptoms and recommend a specialized treatment plan.

What are my non-surgical Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation treatment options?

Treatment options depend on the patient’s existing care plan and current condition of the patient’s pain. Based on prior treatments, it may be recommended that additional tests may be done to ensure each patient receives the proper treatment plan. Additional tests may include advanced imaging such as an MRI, x-rays or nerve testing. Once the Physiatrists has been able to review all necessary documents, a treatment plan may be built around physical exercise, medication, if necessary, or interventional procedures. As previously stated, many back and neck conditions will improve without the need for surgery however, cases where it is deemed, surgery may be needed.

Is Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation the same as Pain Management?

Though similar in the aspect treating and managing pain, Pain Management solely focuses on pain in the back and neck. I perform interventional pain procedures such as injections for low back and leg pain in addition to, other procedures aimed to treat neck or all-over back pain. These types of procedures are done at a surgery center using image guidance and most up to date techniques. These procedures can be very successful in managing pain in a non-surgical way for a variety of conditions.

How do you help patients?

My primary focus as a Physiatrist is to restore mobility and function of the body for my patients. To me every patient is special and an individual. I treat all my patients as I would my family members, myself or my best friend. When I am in a room with my patients, time stands still, I have no watch, no alarm, I take the time necessary.

The focus of my practice is to evaluate and treat patients for spinal conditions from a non-surgical approach. This ranges from temporary back or neck pain, such as a back strain, to more long-standing back and neck pain and post-operative care. In addition, I evaluate and treat those with cervical or lumbar (sciatica) radiculopathy, pinched nerves in the neck or back with arm or leg pain and numbness, tingling or weakness. I am trained in Electrodiagnostic (EMG) medicine and hold a board certification in this discipline. In addition, our EMG lab at Northern Arizona Orthopaedics is certified with exemplary status through the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine. I work closely with our spine physicians, so no time is lost in trying conservative treatments first.

Making An Appointment

Are you ready to return to a life of restored mobility and function? Schedule an appointment today with Dr. Ledington or any of our orthopedic physicians by visiting us online at https://northazortho.com/request-a-visit/ or calling at 928.226.2900.