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PUBLISHED: Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Physiatry was first introduced at University Hospital of the West Indies/UWI in August 2008, with the appointment of Dr. Paula Dawson, Consultant Physiatrist and Lecturer. The University Hospital now offers clinical care and academic education in many areas of the field.


The goal of the field medicine is to assist people who have experienced traumatic injury, disabling diseases or following surgery, to regain control of their lives by restoring function. Treatment is aggressive, nonsurgical management of body’s musculoskeletal system, which includes bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. This is done in conjunction with a team which includes nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, psychologist and other rehabilitation specialists. A holistic approach to patient care is adapted to maximize patients’ function and adding quality to life. Although all clinical areas in Physiatry are done at University of the West Indies, the main areas of focus are:

  • Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation
  • Sports Medicine Rehabilitation
  • Interventional Spine Rehabilitation
  • Spasticity Management

Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation

Treatment of painful musculoskeletal conditions of the spine, muscles, nerves and joints; Trigger point injection or peripheral joint injections of the hips, knees, shoulder; Diagnosis and treatment of nerve entrapment, radiculopathy, plexopathy, neuropathy, myopathy

Sports Medicine Rehabilitation

Diagnosis and comprehensive non-operative treatment of acute or chronic overuse sports injuries; Peripheral joint injections.

Interventional Spine Rehabilitation

Lumbar: Fluoroscopically guided epidural steroid injections (transforaminal, interlaminar and caudal); Lumbar selective nerve root blocks; Lumbar zygapophyseal (facet) joint injections; Sacroiliac joint injection

Cervical: Fluoroscopically guided epidural steroid injections; (transforaminal, interlaminar); Cervical selective nerve root blocks; Cervical zygapophyseal (facet) joint injections

Spasticity Management

Spasticity management in children with cerebral palsy or adults with neurological disease, with medications and injection of Botulinum Toxin and Phenol injection.

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