Health & Medicine General Medicine

Occupational Therapy Versus Physical Therapy

Occupational therapy, as well as physical therapy, both therapies offer great benefit to people who really require it. Both therapies help people maintain their independence, maximize their function, and also lead healthier and more active lives. 

Although both therapies are prescribed for one patient, there are certain differences between the two. Let us know about the differences between occupational therapy and physical therapy in the following article matrices.

Occupational Therapy versus Physical Therapy: Basic Differences

The simplest way to describe the difference between occupational therapy and physical therapy is that an occupational therapist treats the impairment of the patient in action while the physical therapy assistant or physical therapist treats the actual disability of the patient. 

The occupational therapist helps the patient complete the necessary daily task with the impairment, which may involve the application of new tools and various techniques. However, the physical therapist tries to improve the impairment itself by improving mobility, aligning the bones and joints, or reducing pain.

Occupational Therapy Vs Physical Therapy: Differences Based On Definition

Occupational therapy or OT is defined as a holistic health care profession that aims to promote health by enabling people to engage in meaningful and useful activities during their lifetime.

However, physical therapy or PT is a health care profession that is primarily concerned with the correction or correction of disabilities and mobility, functional ability, and the overall quality of active life and potential for movement.

Occupational Therapy versus Physical Therapy: Differences Based on Specialized Medical Professionals

An occupational therapist is a professional who would recommend adaptive equipment such as receiving devices, special utensils and utensils, dressings, splinting, etc.

However, a physical therapist is a medical professional who is licensed to assess and treat functional impairments and limitations as well. Physiotherapists are qualified enough to recommend appropriate medical and assistive devices for patients such as bracelets, walkers, wheelchairs, canes, shower chairs, etc. A vital part of the role of the physical therapist is educating the patient about her or her condition

Occupational Therapy versus Physical Therapy: Differences Based on People Requiring These Therapies

Occupational therapy is required by people with mental and physical disabilities, chronic conditions like arthritis after serious health problems like stroke, after work-related injury, people with developmental disabilities, etc.

Physiotherapy is essential for people with Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis after injuries or long-term health problems such as back pain, spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis etc.

Occupational Therapy versus Physical Therapy: Differences Based on Therapies in Action

Let’s consider a patient recovering from knee replacement surgery. Your occupational therapist would teach you how to use a wheelchair in the early stages of recovery, also help you practice going up and down stairs with a new knee, etc. The occupational therapist can help the patient perform hygiene tasks at the sink, etc.

Physiotherapists would likely assign various exercises to the patient to improve mobility with the new artificial knee and would also help relieve postoperative stiffness and pain. The physical therapist would also help the patient to stand up from a wheelchair and help maintain balance.

Mainly, the occupational therapist and the physical therapist work closely together to help the patient achieve a full recovery.

The bottom Line

Physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) are rehabilitative treatment types. Although they have similar goals and handle a lot of the same problems, they vary as well.

PT focuses on restore or improve motion, strength and range of motion. OT aims at improving the motor skills you need to perform everyday tasks.

What type of care you select depends on your particular condition and individual needs. Working closely with your doctor will help you determine which therapy matches you and your goals.

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