At OrthoSC, the Grand Strand's largest and most comprehensive orthopedic practice, our specialty-trained doctors​ are dedicated to providing world-class care for a variety of acute injuries and chronic conditions.

Physiatry is the specialty branch of medicine in which physical medicine and rehabilitation doctors, also known as physiatrists, work. A physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor is a physician who helps patients of all ages with physical impairments or disabilities who need rehabilitation, special care, and treatment to help them better manage daily life. Examples of patients a physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor treats include those with a spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, or a neuromuscular disorder.

Sometimes, a physiatrist will work with someone who has been in an accident. In this situation, a physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor helps this patient regain as much of their physical function as possible. Other times, a patient can return to their job after working with a physiatrist. 

A physiatrist may need to perform tests to know what modality of care or pain management treatment is best. For instance, he or she may order nerve conduction studies or an EMG. Sometimes, the care this physician offers will be minimally invasive, such as an injection. Other times, the doctor may recommend that the patient see an orthopedic surgeon to discuss the surgical option best suited to their needs.

When It's Time to Seek Care

When you have pain, it's important to pay close attention to your symptoms so you can give your doctor a more detailed description of your pain when you go to your appointment, which in turn helps your doctor diagnose and treat you. Although every person experiences orthopedic issues differently, here are examples of common symptoms you may be noticing:

  • Difficulty performing certain movements
  • Difficulty recovering from a medical procedure
  • Experiencing new or different types of pain
  • Lack of energy after an illness or health challenge
  • Limpness, such as in the hand
  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Physical disability is creating new challenges for you
  • Postsurgical pain
  • Severe headaches

Having any of the symptoms above may indicate one of the following common orthopedic problems or injuries:

  • Any type of traumatic injury
  • Movement disorders (tics, tremors, Parkinson’s disease, etc.)
  • Brain injury
  • Concussion
  • Facet joint syndrome
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Musculoskeletal system injuries
  • Nerve condition
  • Recovery after trauma
  • Sciatica
  • Spasticity
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Sports-related injury
  • Stroke 

Taking good care of yourself means seeing a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist when you suspect you have a problem and taking action sooner rather than later. In doing so, you may be able to avoid further pain or the need for surgery. You may also reduce the risk of having your condition worsen or developing severe problems, for instance, if the damage advances over time and you begin to lose mobility in the affected area. To discuss your options, schedule an appointment with one of our physical medicine and rehabilitation doctors by requesting an appointment online or calling (843) 353-3460.

Experience World-Class Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Care at OrthoSC

At OrthoSC, our experts apply their medical knowledge and skills to treating you and your issue. They are dedicated to providing each patient with specialized care and are equipped with the most advanced resources, which allows your specialist to focus exclusively on diagnosing and treating your issue.  

Our board-certified physiatrists, Dr. Stephen Parker, Dr. Kimberly Purgavie, and Dr. Erin Watson, are highly skilled in their respected field of evaluating and treating many types of injuries and conditions. A core component of their care is ensuring that every patient is educated about the pain-relieving treatment options that are available to them, such as injections. Our doctors also consult with their patients, offering suggestions, listening to questions, and helping them decide which course to take. If our physiatrists believe that surgery is the best option to restore proper function, they will refer you to one of our specialty-trained orthopedic surgeons. Regardless of the treatment you ultimately receive, our doctors will make sure to educate you about your condition, treatment options, and what you can expect afterward.

Having questions or concerns about your issue is normal. Schedule an appointment with one of our experienced physiatrists at one of our convenient locations in Carolina Forest, Conway, or Murrells Inlet by calling us at (843) 353-3460 or requesting an appointment online. We’re ready to help restore you to better health.