Therapy plans for inpatient care are developed by an interdisciplinary team, which may include a physiatrist, a variety of therapists and the patient's primary care physician.
Physiatrists, or rehabilitation physicians, are nerve, muscle, and bone experts who treat injuries or illnesses that affect how you move. Rehabilitation physicians are medical doctors who have completed training in the medical specialty of physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R). Specifically, rehabilitation physicians:
- Diagnose and treat pain
- Restore maximum function lost through injury, illness or disabling conditions
- Treat the whole person, not just the problem area
- Lead a team of medical professionals
- Provide non-surgical treatments
- Explain your medical problems and treatment/prevention plan
Medical Director Lizette Alvarez, MD, leads patient care at Missouri Baptist's Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility. Dr. Alvarez is a board-certified physiatrist with over 20 years of experience in pain management and physical medicine.
Physical therapists are licensed professionals trained in providing therapeutic interventions that help restore function, relieve pain, improve mobility and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities. Physical therapists focus on lower extremity strengthening, balance and transfer training, bed mobility, gross motor and coordination skill, and walking or wheelchair propulsion to improve your independence and safety.
Occupational therapists are licensed professionals whose training allows them to modify tasks or the environment to promote maximum independence during the performance of life's daily activities. Occupational therapists address all areas of improving self-care skills including bathing, toileting, dressing, grooming and eating. They also focus on reasoning and problem-solving abilities, fine motor skills, and upper extremity strengthening to help increase independence with these daily tasks.
Speech therapists, licensed speech language pathologists, specialize in improving communication, cognitive and reasoning skills, and decision-making abilities. With treatment options such as Videostroboscopy and Modified Barium Swallow testing, they also diagnose and treat swallowing disorders and work with your physicians and dietitians to recommend the proper diet for optimal functioning. In addition, speech therapy offers LSVT LOUD, a treatment for Parkinson’s patients.