It is easy to get physical therapy and occupational therapy confused. Both areas have a common focus in that they are used to treat painful injuries that result in limited function and mobility. Both may be necessary for recovery from surgery. All that said, physical therapy is fundamentally different from occupational therapy. Below is a look at the factors that distinguish one from the other.
A physical therapist’s job is to treat a patient’s impairment and improve their quality of life. For example, their goal might be to improve mobility in patients who have undergone knee replacement procedures. To do this, they will develop a treatment plan that includes exercises to get the patient up and walking while also reducing the stiffness and that pain follows surgery.
Along with helping you to recover from surgery, physical therapy may also be used to avoid the need for surgery in the first place.
An occupational therapist’s job is to help patients recover the ability to perform basic daily tasks. Those tasks can include bathing and writing along with activities necessary for their job or for participating at school. Even minor injuries can limit an individual’s ability to perform essential daily tasks. The impact of what might seem to be a minor injury is especially significant for the elderly.
An occupational therapist will learn what activities you must complete on a daily basis and implement solutions to help you overcome your limitations. They may evaluate your home, workplace or school to recommend changes so that those environments will better fit your needs.
The Overlap Between Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy
Both physical therapy and occupational therapy improve your ability to move. Both involve monitoring your progress and reporting to your doctor.
If you believe that you need physical therapy or occupational therapy, contact us today at Edge Physical Therapy to discuss treatment options.