Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Physical medicine and rehabilitation is a discipline that focuses on treating a range of nerve and muscle related conditions to return a higher quality of life to the patient. Some other treatments for nerve pain or muscle pain might involve invasive surgery or addictive painkillers, both of which come with their own risks. An effective physical medicine and rehabilitation program can permanently make a big difference to many patients’ lives with fewer associated risks
What Is Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation?
Physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) is a medical specialization that focuses on returning maximum function and quality of life to patients who have lost the ability to move effectively or independently.
PM&R differs from Physical Therapy in that it takes into account the patient’s entire body and various physiological systems when determining the best course of action to take. This includes not only the joints and muscles directly involved in the desired motion, but also the nerves that attach to those muscles and even how the brain is sending signals to effect that motion.
PM&R combines a range of different disciplines into a holistic treatment plan that addresses every part of a patient’s physiology to achieve a return to the maximum level of function possible.
What Does a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist Do?
A PM&R specialist, also known as a physiatrist, is a medical practitioner that has completed extensive education and practical experience in diagnosing and treating conditions that affect movement. They are experts in nerve, muscle, bone and brain conditions that can impact a person’s ability to move, from sprained ankles or lower back pain, to the after effects of a stroke or cerebral palsy.
A physiatrist will take a comprehensive history and ask you a range of questions to assess the areas you feel need improvement. They will also conduct a physical examination to observe the extent of the condition and how limited your movement has become. Once they have a clear picture of the symptoms and causes of your illness, they will develop a personalized treatment plan that can include physical therapy, electrotherapy, or the use of an assistive device.
Who Needs To See a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist?
As physiatrists are experienced in a broad range of medical conditions, the range of patients they are able to treat is also expanded.
Conditions that can be treated with a PM&R specialist include:
- Recovering from major surgery
- Recent loss of limb
- Spinal injuries
- Pain syndromes
- Loss of motor function due to stroke and other neurological conditions
- Sports injuries
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- Lower back pain
- Sprains, ligaments tears
- Cerebral palsy
- Gait disorders
- Peripheral Nerve Disease
- Headaches & Migraines
What Treatments are Offered at Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital?
Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital offers a complete range of PM&R services for our patients to ensure they are receiving the best care possible.
Some key treatments offered include:
This diagnostic method is commonly used in pain and movement conditions to accurately identify the cause and extent of the issue. A machine collects data on the electrical activity of a specific area of the body to determine whether nerves are firing correctly or whether the loss of sensation or pain symptoms is caused by something else.
Headache & Migraine Therapies
Dr. Vermeulen conducts a thorough initial history, lifestyle assessment and physical exam to investigate the cause of patient headaches. Treatment options are offered to control headache triggers and symptoms, and may include oral medications, Botox injections, local anesthetic nerve blocks and recommendations for lifestyle changes.
Physical Therapy is an effective treatment option for many conditions that involve limited mobility and recovery from surgery. A range of physical motions, stretches and exercises will be prescribed to assist with regaining function and strength.
A specialty of RM&R is injection therapies, which utilizes certain compounds such as BOTOX to treat muscular and nerve conditions. By injecting therapeutic amounts of BOTOX, a trained physiatrist can help lessen muscle pain or spasms associated with a range of disorders.
Richard Vermeulen, M.D.
Richard Vermeulen, M.D.
Dr. Richard Vermeulen graduated from Wayne State School of Medicine prior to completing his Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residency through Wayne State University and the Detroit Medical Center in 1990. This has afforded him a strong neurology, musculoskeletal and electrodiagnostic foundation. He treats children and adults with a variety of therapies including injection therapies such as BOTOX spasticity and cervical dystonia management.
Low back/extremity pain and peripheral nerve impairments/electro diagnostic assessments are areas of expertise.
Common conditions treated include:
- Headaches & Migraine
- Back Pain
- Peripheral Nerve Disease
- Gait Disorders
- Complex rehabilitation such as: stroke, spinal cord injury, muscle disease or cerebral palsy
- Various tendon/ musculoskeletal pain disorders
His office is located at Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital 7870W US Highway 2. Appointments can be made by calling 906-341-2153.