Physiatrists are doctors that specialize in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R). They treat a wide range of conditions, from sore muscles and joints to more serious issues such as spinal cord injuries. As a provider of both pre- and post-operative care, a Physiatrist acts as the coordinator of a conservative program of pain management and rehabilitation.
Most conditions, including low back pain, do not require surgery. In some cases, however, a physiatrist may determine that surgery is needed. He or she can help patients with the entire process of preparing for surgery, including the necesssary rehabilitation afterward.