Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine

The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation can address the challenges presented by rheumatic diseases and disorders.

At Cedars-Sinai an interdisciplinary team of rehabilitation and physical medicine specialists helps patients manage everyday activities and work and live with chronic conditions. This team includes physical therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, social workers and relaxation specialists. Led by rheumatologists, the team initiates and monitors rehabilitative therapies, including all elements of managing the patient's condition that do not involve traditional medical, drug and surgical procedures.

Treatment may include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Individualized home strengthening and stretching programs to improve range of motion, function and independence while protecting joints and reducing flare-ups
  • Integrative medicine (e.g., acupressure and acupuncture)
  • Manual therapy (e.g., massage and stretching)
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Sleep counseling
  • Patient education
  • Vocational counseling

Physical therapy can help alleviate the pain, stiffness and weakness associated with rheumatic diseases and to restore function, improve mobility and independence and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities. The goal of occupational therapy is to help people regain, develop and build skills that are essential for independent functioning, health and well-being.

In addition, a series of specialized services are available for:

  • Fibromyalgia. The Fibromyalgia Program provides self-management training that includes nutrition, fatigue and pain management, stretching, exercise and behavioral workshops emphasizing stress reduction and positive lifestyle changes. This program is nationally known as being on the forefront of progressive rehabilitation techniques that allow patients with chronic, painful conditions to return to a more active and fulfilling life.
  • Lupus. Rehabilitation and physical medicine specialists offer self-management training that incorporates education about the disease, managing pain and fatigue and stress reduction.
  • Osteoarthritis. Rehabilitation and physical medicine services provides stretching and exercise training so patients can manage their own conditions. The program includes an analysis of a patient's gait and education about reducing pain and stiffness, protecting joints, using the body safely and improving posture.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. Cedars-Sinai professionals train individuals to manage their condition with stretching and exercise programs. Patients receive education about reducing pain and swelling, protecting joints, lifestyle changes and fatigue management.

Depending on insurance plans, patients may consult with rehabilitation and physical medicine specialists at Cedars-Sinai either directly, on the basis of a referral from a rheumatologist at Cedars-Sinai or on the basis of a referral from their primary physician. Both individual and group programs are available through the Cedars-Sinai's Division of Rheumatology. For more information, contact 310-360-6868.