Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PMR)

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PMR)

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PMR) is a broad specialty. It is purely clinical branch of medicine. It is more than seven decades old branch. Well-developed and highly recognised in western countries. But it is Under-recognised, Under-utilized, Under-resourced, Under-developed, Under-advertised in India. Recently, National Medical Commission of India (NMC) made this branch mandatory in every medical college in India from year 2022. NMC gives the huge boost to this specialty that was required to survive and grow this branch.

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

PMR is known byother names also like Rehabilitation Medicine or Physiatry or Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine. The doctors who are practising PMR is known as Rehab physician or Physiatrist or PMR Specialist. Physiatrist are not the specialist of any specific organ. Physiatrist perspective is to treat the whole body not just the disease. Physiatrist are specialised in functioning. American Academy of PMR describes- Physiatrist/rehab physician are the doctors of nerves, muscles, bones related disorders that affects patients functioning/movement.

Our Team

Dr. Rambeer Ghuleliya
Dr. Rambeer Ghuleliya

Assistant Professor

What concepts are reflected in the name Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation?

This specialty has three words in name.


  • Pertaining to our Physical –ness (Body)
  • Pertaining to Physical Activity (Exercises)
  • Use of Physical Agents – Heat, Light, Sound, Cold, Electricity etc


  • That is chikitsa (चिकित्सा) – medical care including surgeries (शल्यचिकित्सा)
  • Medication
  • Non – Surgical & Surgical interventions

Rehabilitation of people with disabilities is a process aimed at enabling them to reach and maintain their optimal physical, sensory, intellectual, psychological and social functional levels. Rehabilitation provides people with disabilities, the tools they need to attain independence and self-determination.

There are 3 WHO Health indicators. Functioning along with mortality and morbidity is third indicator of health. Due to increasing burden of aging population, noncommunicable disease along with increased life expectancy affecting persons quality of life as result of decreased functioning. Rehabilitation is the best strategy for optimizing functioning. Rehabilitation improves quality of life a person by optimizing functioning.

So, we can conclude that PMR is a specialty that treats whole body by using physical agents, physical activity (exercises), medications, injections and surgeries along with the process of rehabilitation.

The philosophy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is holistic, comprehensive, team-orientedcare for persons with disabilities (PWDs). PMR is specialty that cared for the whole person, not just the disease. By PMR interventions life can always be made better that is “adding life to years”. Physiatrist treating the various ailments/disorders with help of Medicine, physical agents, exercises, minimally invasive pain and spine (MIPSI) procedures and rehabilitation surgeries. PMR believes in transdisciplinary team approach by keeping patient and his/her family into the centre.This specialty provides one of most comprehensive and multifaceted modes of treatment (amongst all disciplines of medical sciences), where focus is on function of patient rather than disease.

Rehabilitation team- comprehensive rehabilitation is team approach of patient can only be achieved by rehabilitation team. Rehabilitation team comprises Physiatrist, Physiotherapist, occupational therapist, prosthetist/orthotist, vocational counsellor, clinical psychologist, etc. Other specialty physician can also be part of rehabilitation team depending on patient’s need. Physiatrist is the leader of the rehabilitation team. Physiatrists are the experts at diagnosing & treating Pain and various disabling conditions. PMR specialist treat whole person not just problem area. By PMR interventions physiatrist try to restore maximum function lost through injury/Paralysis and/or Deformity.

  • Role of physiatrist – Clinical, Managerial, Academics & Research, Leadership
  • Physiatrist Leadership to Rehabilitation Team – 1st Patient Contact - Clinical Work-up
  • Diagnosis – Medical & Rehabilitation
  • Medical & minimally invasive pain and spine procedure
  • Rehabilitation Planning, Implementation & Monitoring through the team & be responsible/accountable for the same
  • Team Coordination & Communication
  • Communication with Patient & Family + other Physicians, Agencies (Govt./NGOs/Donors)

The process of rehabilitation involves 3 stages - Disablement, Reablement, Resettlement. Person can became disable by various disorder. Even acute neck or back pain can make a patient severely disabled. Disability may be temporary or permanent. Goals of rehabilitation is to improve quality of life by improving functioning. This goal can be achieved by treating, teaching, training and mentally tampering the patient. Treating the patients by utilizing medications, injections, physical modalities, exercise, and education individualized to the pt’s needs. Teaching the pts to take care of themselves and train them for a new job. By using these four approaches in combination we are converting a person and its care giver who otherwise be resource burner to resource earner. So ultimately, we are reintegrating the PWDs back into the society as a productive member of the society. The concept “life goes on” and everyone must live a meaningful life is the central to the philosophy of PMR.

Any patient from any department ranging from paediatric to geriatric who need rehabilitation services should be consulted/referred to PMR department. So that we can provide better outcomes for the patients.

  • Various Acute/subacute/chronic pain like Arthritis/rheumatological disorders, Back & neck pain, orofacial pain, headaches, Frozen shoulder, joint pain,
  • Cervicogenic headache, atypical chest pain, abdominal wall pain
  • Chronic pelvic pain,
  • Cancer pain management,
  • Lymphedema,
  • Post-surgical/posttraumatic pain disorders,
  • Work related injuries, Sports injuries,
  • Rheumatological disorders
  • Vertigo,
  • Neurological case- Radiculopathy/Neuropathy/nerve injuries/plexus injury/Bell’s palsy, Stroke, TBI, SCI,
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Muscle disorders- Muscle Dystrophy etc.
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorders
  • Post MI
  • Pulmonary disorders like COPD
  • Pressure injures
  • Diabetic foot ulcers
  • Osteoporosis

SCI, TBI, stroke, etc., need to be compulsorily transferred to PMR department to achieve superior outcomes, after meeting clinical stability criteria as soon as possible.