A Physiatrist is a medical doctor that specializes in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R). This type of medical care is particularly relevant in the treatment of shoulder pain because it focuses on the nerves, muscles, and bones of the body—and the ways that injury or illness can affect normal functioning and movement and/or cause pain.
Physiatrists take a non-surgical approach to increasing mobility and alleviating pain. For shoulder pain, this conservative approach would most likely begin with a program of physical therapy. When physical therapy is ineffective or cannot be used due to pain, a physiatrist will occasionally use minimally invasive procedures such as Joint Injections (more on this below). A recommendation for shoulder surgery is always a last resort and is only prescribed when absolutely necessary.