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Occupational Therapy vs Physical Therapy

Difference: Occupational Therapy vs Physical Therapy

Do you need to decide which therapy will suit you – occupational or physical? You don’t need to get confused about these two rehabilitation disciplines. First, let us know the definition of each.

Occupational Therapy is a form of therapy intended for people who are recuperating from mental or physical illness. Abbreviated as OT, it gives confidence to someone to perform the activities required in daily living. The health professional trained in this field is called an occupational therapist.

Physical Therapy or Physiotherapy (PT) deals with a disease, deformity or injury using physical methods such as massages, exercises, heat treatment, and patient education instead of drugs or surgical operations. The medical professional that performs PT is called a Physical therapist or a physiotherapist.

Occupational therapy vs physical therapy:  

How are they different?

The most fundamental difference between occupational therapy and physiotherapy is the focus. OT focuses on all areas of a patient’s daily life and achieving their goals. These goals can be as easy as taking a shower and getting dressed or as complex as being able to return to work or moving around the community.

PT is centred on human anatomy. The therapy provides hands-on physical techniques to patients with stiffness, pain, or limited mobility. Limited mobility may result from an injury, or an illness that suddenly happened, and may cause a challenge to your ability to move independently most of your life.

How are they similar?

While occupational therapy may be different in focus, they have also similarities, which include the following:

* General Purpose 

    Both the OT and PT aim to improve your functioning, knowledge about maintaining your health and well-being, and quality of life.

* Goals and Monitoring

    Occupational and Physical therapy both have goals and monitor progress as you perform to achieve them.

* Conditions

       The list of health conditions for which OT and PT may be recommended and used overlap.

* Design

       Both types of therapy offer hands-on care suited to the patient’s specific needs.

When Do You Need a Physical Therapist?

Physical therapy/physiotherapy can be used to:

       – Manage pain

       – improve mobility following an injury

       – Recover from a surgical procedure

       – Treat joint conditions

       – Deal with Neurological conditions

       – Treat carpal tunnel syndrome; trigger finger

       – Lung conditions – COPD, Cystic fibrosis

       – Heart conditions and recovery after a heart attack

       – Cancer

When Do You Need an Occupational Therapist?  

Occupational Therapy can be beneficial for:

       – recovery from injury

       – managing pain

       – neurological conditions

       – osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis

       – carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger

        – developmental conditions – autism spectrum disorder (ASD), learning disorder,

           Intellectual disabilities.

       – depression, anxiety and other psychological conditions

       – dementia, Alzheimer’s disease

So how do you choose the right therapy for you?  

The right therapy to choose should depend on your health condition and your identified needs. If your condition affects your ability to move a body part without feeling pain, or your ability to walk, then physical therapy is right for you.

If you find it difficult to perform your daily tasks, such as getting dressed, or picking up things, then maybe you should consider occupational therapy.

But more importantly, you should work closely with your doctor, who knows better about which type of therapy you should prefer.

Mission Walk Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Centre offer its services if you want a rehabilitation facility in India. We can accommodate your needs whether you want an OT or a PT.  

For your info, we also perform sensory integration therapy, which can help children learn to use all their senses – touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight – together. This type of therapy has proven that it can improve repetitive or challenging behaviour.

We also have rehabilitation therapy to treat your disabilities and help you recover from medical conditions to live independently. Our therapists are experts in providing bespoke exercise programs designed for your condition.

So get in touch with Mission Walk now for more information or to book a consultation. We will be delighted to hear from you. If you have any queries, you are free to get in touch with our help desk representatives, who’ll answer all your queries very patiently and to the best of their ability, and if they are unable, they’ll even connect you to the concerned PT.

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