Physical and Occupational Therapy

Posted by on Nov 18, 2014 in Tips | 0 comments

Physical and Occupational Therapy

Physical therapy gets discussed a lot for anyone that has a chronic physical condition, is in need of surgery, or lives with pain. But, the term occupational therapy comes up regularly in the same conversations. Both of these types of therapists, physical therapists and occupational therapists are working toward the same general goal: helping people. There a lot of ways in which these two professionals use the same techniques and methods to achieve this goal, and many in which they differ. If you’ve wondered exactly what the difference is between these two types of therapy, now is the time to clear up the confusion.


occupational therapy


Physical Therapy


A physical therapist is a specialist in movement of the human body, their primary concern is a patient’s ability to move properly, and so they focus on pain reduction, function, preventing long-term disability. They will often work with patients to help them prevent losing movement or to regain as much mobility as possible after a traumatic incident like surgery or an accident.


Physical therapists are most concerned with the structures of the body like ligaments, joints, and tissues. They can diagnose dysfunctions that are affecting movement and then use their knowledge of exercises, and specialty equipment like ultra sound machines, to lessen pain. They attack a person’s disorder and problem physically.



Occupational Therapy


Occupational therapists will work with people who are facing many of the same issues, and often times they might employ some of the same techniques of pain relief and exercises to help people deal with pain and gain back mobility, but their primary concern is addressing the way people will now function in their daily life.


Both at home and at work, an OT will perform on-site assessments and make recommendations to help a patient adapt to their environment with new restrictions or impairments. While the physical therapist is primarily concerned with relief from a condition, the occupational therapist shows patients how to get the best quality of life while living with a condition.




Both of these professions are aimed at patients’ suffering from pain and physical limitations and giving them back their independence and relief. A physical therapist is qualified to make recommendations about adapting a lifestyle to better suit new restrictions just like an occupational therapist can treat pain, but with the combination of their specific expertise, people can both achieve their best physical potential and learn how to best live with any restrictions that can’t be fixed.

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