Physiatrists, or Rehabilitation Physicians, are medical doctors who have completed training in the specialty of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R). Physiatrists are experts at diagnosing and providing non-surgical treatments for nerve, muscle, bone injuries and illnesses.

Physiatrists educate patients about injury prevention and activity modification, exercise and other ways to optimize physical health. In addition to establishing a treatment plan, physiatrists also coordinate a multidisciplinary approach which may involve physical therapists and other specialists such as orthopedics and neurosurgery. Physiatrists help patients restore their maximum function lost through injury, illness or disabling condition.

Injections can help in the diagnosis and treatment of many joint and peripheral musculoskeletal problems such as osteoarthritis, bursitis and carpal tunnel syndrome.

This state-of-the-art technology provides information on the function of nerves and muscles and can help to diagnose disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome, radiculopathy and peripheral neuropathies.

Our physicians serve as Medical Directors at the Weldon Rehabilitation Hospital, part of Mercy Medical Center in Springfield, MA and the Bronson Rehabilitation Center, part of Noble Hospital in Westfield, MA

We provide care for patients who have suffered strokes, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, neuromuscular disorders, orthopedic and rheumatologic conditions, multiple trauma, amputations, cardiac and pulmonary conditions, cancer, and many other types of illnesses requiring acute rehabilitation.

At Pioneer Spine and Sports Physicians, we streamline the process so that our patients can receive timely treatment towards a quick recovery. We offer comprehensive, non-surgical treatment in our offices which makes it easier for our patients to focus on their rehabilitation program. Consultation for injuries requiring surgical intervention can be quickly facilitated. We also correspond with attorneys and insurance carriers in a timely fashion. All of these factors make the experience from date of injury to date of discomfort as streamlined as possible.

By virtue of our training in the area of functional rehabilitation, our physicians are particularly well-suited for the treatment of occupational injuries. Our approach to these injuries is the same as it is for otherconditions: we establish a specific diagnosis rapidly, implement an appropriate plan of treatment and emphasize rapid return to normal activity.

During treatment, injured individuals are sometimes unable to carry out their normal occupational duties. Our staff identifies the activities which are to be avoided or limited based on the established diagnosis. As the patient’s treatment progresses, these restrictions are liberalized and the patients return to their usual activities. Our physicians work diligently with the injured employee to maintain daily work even when restrictions are necessary. Except in unusual cases, we are able to avoid keeping patients out of work.

This comprehensive treatment approach is attractive to employers and case managers, as well as our patients. It allows for diagnostic and therapeutic intervention in an efficient and timely manner, thus minimizing the period during which an employee is unable to do his/her usual job. We avoid unnecessary tests and treatments, while avoiding frustrating lapses between appointments. Intervention is aggressive and targeted to address the patient’s diagnosis. Rehabilitation allows for a rapid return to function with an emphasis on safety and avoidance of re-injury.

Our comprehensive approach to occupational injuries has been very effective. As a result, we have developed relationships as a preferred provider for the treatment of occupational injuries with many of the area’s biggest employers , including Baystate Medical Center, Big Y, Hasbro, Lennox, Mass Mutual, J. Polep, The Republican, and Williams Distributing. We have an in-house, full-time Nurse Case Manager dedicated to monitoring and coordinating the treatment of occupational injuries to avoid lapses and serve as a liaison between the employer, the patient and the treating physician.

For further information about the Occupational Medicine Program, call Cindy Fleury, RN, Nurse Case Manager, at (413) 785-1153 ext. 6950.

The staff of Pioneer Spine and Sports Physicians treats many common painful conditions such as arthritis, musculoskeletal injuries, and painful spinal problems. For more complex pain conditions which are resistant to initial treatment efforts, Pioneer Spine and Sports offers consultation with physician members of our team who have special additional Board Certification in Pain Management. They coordinate additional care which can include spinal procedures, complex medication management, physical therapy and/or psychological evaluation/counseling. The goal of these treatments is to enhance quality of life and improve the patient’s ability to perform normal activities of daily living.

We offer treatment to children with conditions such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and numerous neurologic and orthopedic diagnoses. We also provide physician staffing for the Springfield Massachusetts’ Shriner’s Hospital, where we work in concert with various other specialists including Orthopedics, Rheumatology, and Neurosurgery. Additionally, we believe in the team approach and utilize the expertise of pediatric Physical, Occupational, and Speech therapists, as well as Orthotists to offer a comprehensive approach to the treatment of the pediatric patient.

Common services include:

  • Evaluation and management of scoliosis
  • Management of spasticity with oral and injectable medications (Botox)
  • Bracing
  • Adaptive equipment and assistive device recommendations
  • Management of Intrathecal Baclofen
  • Management of joint contractures

Percutaneous Disc Necleoplasty is a state-of-the-art, minimally invasive method for spinal disc decompression. This procedure is used to treat some painful disc problems, and often can be performed in as little as 30 minutes in an outpatient setting. Pioneer Spine and Sports Physicians was the first in Western Massachusetts to perform this procedure. Other intradiscal procedures are offered to treat painful disc conditions from physicians who were amongst the first in the country to perform them.

Pioneer Therapy Services (PTS) is comprised of highly trained and experienced experts in the area of osteopathic, as well as exercised-based treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. The underlying philosophy of PTS is reduction of pain through hands-on treatment with a rapid transition to appropriate strengthening and stabilization exercises. The patients are discharged when they are comfortable and proficient at an appropriate program of home exercises designed for continued resolution of their injury.

Pioneer therapists have over 350 years of combined experience and they understand the special attention that athletes require in fact, many of our therapists are competitive athletes themselves. We recognize the importance of intensive, directed treatment with sports-specific considerations for a rapid and safe return to action.

The spine therapists at Pioneer are hand picked for their talent in the area of manual and osteopathic therapy. They have particular expertise in conditions involving spinal disorders, pelvic dysfunction, muscular pain, and disc-related pathology.

Pioneer therapists work closely with the entire staff of Pioneer Spine and Sports Physicians to treat patients using a team approach. Therapy is provided in the same location as the physician offices so that the therapists and physicians can communicate freely regarding the progress of their patients. A change in the patient’s presentation, a failure to progress, or other considerations can be discussed immediately and changes in treatment are implemented without delay.

Pioneer Therapy Services are located in most of the Pioneer Spine and Sports Physicians offices.

As rehabilitation specialists, our physicians are specifically trained to prescribe braces and prosthetics to optimize a patient’s biomechanical function.

PSSP provides specialized medical evaluation of patients with issues related to abnormal muscle tone from brain or spinal cord disorders such as stroke, traumatic brain injuries, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and spinal cord injuries. Patients with spasticity may have pain as well. We aim to improve the physical function of patients through carefully planned intervention. Treatments range from oral medications and physical therapy to new sophisticated technologies such as Botox injections and Intrathecal Baclofen (ITB).

We manage patients with infusion systems and those requiring comprehensive treatment plans.

Spinal cord stimulation, also known as dorsal column stimulation, is a technology that can be used as a last resort to control chronic pain unresponsive to other measures. In this procedure, a very thin wire is passed to the outside of the spinal lining. Very low levels of electrical current are sent through this wire by a miniature generator controlled by the patient. The procedure is done as a test or trial without an incision by Pioneer physicians. If successful in controlling an individual’s pain, a more permanent stimulator is surgically placed under the skin at a later date.

The science behind spinal cord stimulation has progressed rapidly over the past 30 years, and this procedure is now widely accepted as a treatment for many different types of pain syndromes. Some conditions that can be treated with this technology include failed back surgery, arthritic spinal pain, pinched nerves, spinal stenosis, RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy), peripheral vascular disease (poor circulation), and pain from chronic nerve damage.

Cortisone injections help in the diagnosis and treatment of spinal disorders, such as radiculopathy, spinal stenosis, sacroiliac joint irritation, and facet arthropathy. Our physicians complete these procedures safely using x-ray and ultrasound guidance.

When non-operative treatment is unsuccessful, surgery may be recommended. Surgical consultation and treatment for all spinal disorders is available when needed. Commonly treated disorders include disc herniation and degeneration, spinal stenosis, spinal deformity and scoliosis, tumors, and vertebral compression fractures. We are skilled in the latest minimally invasive and micro-surgical techniques, as well as total disc arthroplasty, kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty.

Our physicians and physician assistants have specialized training including Board Certification in Sports Medicine and Athletic training and an interest in treating all types of sports-related injuries. We serve as Sports Medicine Providers and Team Physicians for many local teams, from school-aged through college and professional levels. Regardless of age or skill level, we offer a wide variety of non-surgical treatment alternatives, which may include physical therapy and exercise, diagnostic testing, medications and injection therapy, and more. In addition, some of our physicians utilize state of the art musculoskeletal ultrasound for diagnostic and therapeutic indictions. This modality can diagnose conditions such as muscle and tendon injury as well as improving accuracy of injections.

Statistics show that women have up to 10 times the rate of knee injuries as men, with the majority occuring in non-contact sports. The pivoting, cutting and jumping of soccer, basketball, volleyball and other sports can sideline a female athlete with an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (A.C.L.) injury for an entire year. Enter SportsMetrics – a training program scientifically proven to decrease knee injuries in female athletes. Designed as a Jump Training program, SportsMetrics is comprised of a dynamic warm-up, Jump/Plyometric drills, strength training, speed, agility and flexibility exercises. It focuses on developing overall leg strength as well as improving balance and strength from the front to the back of the thigh. For further information, contact PSSP, either East Longmeadow or Northampton offices. Team and individual instruction is available from our certified SportsMetrics therapists.

The pelvic floor muscles include several layers of muscle attached to the front, back and sides of the pelvic bones. These muscles work like a hammock to support the pelvic organs, including the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum. Pelvic floor dysfunction, therefore, is often misdiagnosed or misunderstood because it can present as back pain, abdominal pain, urinary incontinence or bowel constipation. Our clinic strives to provide a comprehensive approach to diagnosing and treating these conditions.

Our physicians and physician assistants provide specialty wound care services at the Mercy Wound Care Clinic at Mercy Medical Center. Our providers have specialty training to help manage and ultimately heal problem wounds such as pressure ulcers, venous leg ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers and others. They are skilled in the application of advanced wound care therapies such as hyperbaric oxygen, bioengineered skin substitutes, special dressings, and medication. Pioneer clinicians have advanced knowledge of orthotics and artificial limbs (prosthetics) to help patients deal with difficult offloading issues, and help with management of wounds, caused by poorly fitting braces, prosthetics, and wounds at amputation sites.