Occupational Therapy vs Physical Therapy

I’m sure you’ve heard of occupational and physical therapies, but do you know the differences between the two? Most people think they are synonymous, but there are actually significant differences.

The simplest way to describe the difference is that an occupational therapist treats the impairment in action, meaning they help the patient complete necessary tasks with the impairment. Physical therapists treat the actual impairment by increasing mobility, aligning bones and joint or easing pain.

The focus of occupational therapy is help people live independently as possible by helping restore function, like brushing teeth or hair. Physical therapy aims to help people move better and get relief from pain by restoring movement and mobility.

So who needs occupational therapy?

People with mental and physical impairments, developmental disabilities, after serious health conditions like a stroke, chronic conditions like arthritis, and people with work related injuries.

Who needs physical therapy?

People with injuries or long-term health problems like back pain, osteoarthritis, Parkinson’s disease, spinal stenosis, and multiple sclerosis.

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