Sometimes pain is the problem, the whole problem, as in some neuropathic conditions that defy a specific diagnosis despite multiple tests to uncover etiology.
But, more often than not, says physiatrist Atul Patel, MD, the source of a complaint of musculoskeletal pain can be identified and with a step-wise approach to care, an individual's function can be improved, even restored. In a conversation with Patient Care®, Patel points out that the practice of physical medicine and rehabilitation, at its core, is about improving life by returning function.
Atul Patel, MD, is a physiatrist and current treasurer of the Board of Governors of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Before joining the Kansas City Bone and Joint Clinic, he was an associate professor in the department of rehabilitation medicine at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Patel's clinical areas of interest include musculoskeletal medicine, neuropathic pain, spasticity, Parkinson’s disease and dystonias, stroke rehabilitation, multiple sclerosis, nerve and muscle diseases, geriatrics, electrodiagnostic medicine and general rehabilitation medicine.