How Will a Physiatrist Help Me?

November 23rd, 2022  Topics: Orthopaedics

The team at Upper Bucks Orthopaedics at Grand View Health includes board-certified, fellowship-trained physiatrist, Ali Shah, MD, who specializes in the non-surgical management or orthopaedic patients. But many people ask, “How will a physiatrist help me?”

“We can help you diagnose and treat a wide variety of orthopaedic conditions, from back and neck pain to arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome,” Dr. Shah says.

Here are some specific ways a physiatrist will help you:


Dr. Shah helps find the root cause of people’s pain by using:

  • X-ray
  • CT scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Nerve conduction studies and electromyography (EMG), which identify nerve damage or disease
  • Other diagnostic studies necessary for a complete workup


Once your orthopaedic condition is diagnosed, Dr. Shah will talk with you and determine the best course of care, which may include:

  • Helping you develop a home exercise program.
  • Referring you to physical therapy to work with a professional who can help you strengthen your neck or back.
  • Provide injections to help you manage your condition. These may include epidural steroid injections (interlaminar and transforaminal), nerve blocks, sacroiliac joint injections, trigger point injections, shoulder injections, tennis elbow injections, and hip and bursal injections. “These can provide pain relief for up to one year in some patients,” Dr. Shah says.
  • Perform a non-invasive procedure called radiofrequency ablation, which destroys nerve fibers that transmit the sensation of pain.

How often you need to see a physiatrist will depend on your health condition and treatment plan. For example, if your physiatrist recommends a home exercise plan or physical therapy and your condition improves, you may only need to see him once. If you suffer more chronic pain, you may benefit from visits every three to six months.

Dr. Shah currently sees patients at Upper Bucks Orthopaedics locations in Harleysville and Pennsburg.

To make an appointment with Dr. Shah, call 215-257-3700.