Occupational and physical therapy have some distinct differences.
For people who sustain an injury or have some kind of disability, both occupational and physical therapy can provide relief and make life easier. At times, therapists in the two fields might work together, but the two different kinds of therapy also have distinct differences. Here’s a brief look at some of them.
In general, physical therapy addresses the parts of the body involved in such basic functions as walking, stretching, and carrying out other physical activities. Physical therapists (PTs) strive to restore any impairment to the body’s mobility. All 50 states require PTs to be licensed.
PTs conduct physical assessments of patients experiencing pain or difficulty moving, along with recommending treatment to address the problem. This can include exercises focusing on improving:
- Range of motion
Other treatments might seek to reduce any pain or swelling a patient might be experiencing. These can include:
- Applying hot or cold packs
- Using electrical stimulation
- Applying ultrasound
Physical therapy can also have a preventive component, such as reducing the risk of injury among athletes.
While occupational therapy can treat some of the underlying causes of mobility issues, its primary focus is helping patients perform daily functions as easily as possible, with an emphasis on helping people live independently.
Occupational therapists (OTs) are regulated in all states and must be licensed to practice in Florida. They conduct assessments to determine such things as:
- Cognitive ability
Ability to perform such basic functions as:
OTs often go into a patient’s home or work environment and make recommendations for changing ergonomics or modifying equipment and structures to help a patient perform routine activities.
Treatments and exercises might focus on such things as:
- Conserving energy
- Reducing pain
- Reducing fatigue
- Increasing strength and endurance
Getting the Right Therapy
If you’re experiencing pain or having trouble with routine activities, your doctor can help you decide if you need therapy. At Lower Keys Medical Center, our Rehabilitation Services offer both physical and occupational therapy, with both inpatient and outpatient care.
For more information on outpatient services, call (305) 292-5872. For inpatient services, call (305) 294-5531.