What is the importance of occupational and physical therapy rehabilitation? Each discipline has its own unique benefits for clients of all age ranges with varying diagnoses and various settings. A common misconception regarding therapy in general is that treatment will elicit pain and discomfort. However, one of the primary goals of both occupational and physical therapy is to control pain in order to increase daily function and skill.
Occupational and physical therapy services typically include: an individualized evaluation, where the client/family and therapist collaborate to determine the client’s goals, specialized intervention to improve the client’s ability to perform daily activities and reach goals, and an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or to make changes to the intervention plan as appropriate.
Occupational therapy (OT) is defined as therapeutic intervention that benefits people of all ages and allows them to participate in their own valued everyday activities. Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities participate fully in school/social situations, helping people recover post injury or post-operative to regain skills, and adapting equipment and teaching activity modifications and coping skills to regain or gain independence. Also included are home or work assessments/ergonomics, custom fabricated orthotics, chronic pain coping and prevention skills, and providing support for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Some examples of practice settings for OT include: hospitals, outpatient facilities, day care facilities, orthopedics, skilled nursing facilities, schools, community centers, mental health facilities, home health, and workplaces. Occupational therapists do not just “treat the diagnosis,” but aim for a more holistic approach with clients and their goals to obtain their valued activities of daily living.
Physical therapy (PT) aims to reduce pain and improve or restore mobility often times preventing or reducing the need for surgical intervention or the need for long-term prescription use. Physical therapy interventions include using therapeutic exercises and activities, gait and balance training, modalities, women’s health, and various manual techniques to promote mobility, reduce pain, restore function and prevent disability. Client education regarding prevention techniques, such as with falls or techniques to manage their condition, are also a part of a physical therapist’s goals to maximize long-term health benefits. The various settings can range from hospitals, outpatient facilities, orthopedics, skilled nursing facilities, rehabilitation hospitals, schools, and home health.
Occupational and physical therapy often work together as an interdisciplinary team with one goal in mind for the client: a return to function. They are individually unique therapies, but together they can complement each other well.
Alabama Bone & Joint offers both OT and PT services onsite at our clinic.
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