Different names can be given to a professional especially when people are perceived not to have a full grasp of what their role entails, different people have referred to a physiatrist as a back pain doctor which may not be entirely wrong. However, referring to a physiatrist as just a back pain doctor may not be whole in the scope of what their job description is said to be. A physiatrist indeed takes care of pain around the back region but beyond that, they are known as physical medicine and rehabilitation physician, which means they have been trained and certified as physical medicine and rehabilitation physician which also have subspecialties such as brain injury medicine, neuromuscular medicine, pain medicine, hospice and palliative medicine, pediatric rehabilitation medicine, spinal cord injury medicine as well as sports medicine. These are areas that a physiatrist can function based on their specialization. This is why they can not just be referred to as back pain doctor as they treat a wide range of medical conditions that affects the brain, back, or spinal cord, bones, nerves, joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons.

Physical medicine and rehabilitation physician treat patients of all ages depending on their issues and their cause. They also focus treatment on function. Any area of the body which makes people most of the time referred to them as a back pain doctor. They also determine and lead a treatment or prevention plan for their patient. 

Based on the injury, illness, or disabling condition, some physicians may treat their patients using the following procedures or methods in ensuring proper care of their patients 

  • EMG or Nerve Conduction Studies
  • Ultrasound-guided procedures
  • Prolotherapy
  • Spasticity Treatment
  • Nerve and Muscle Biopsy
  • Manual Medicine/Osteopathic Treatment
  • Prosthetics and Orthotics
  • Complementary-alternative medicine (i.e. acupuncture, etc.)
  • Fluoroscopy guided procedures
  • Injections of spine 
  • Disability/impairment assessment
  • Medicolegal consulting