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Occupational Vs Physical Therapy: What’s The Difference?

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occupational rehabilitationMany Americans will require some form of physical rehabilitation at some point in their lives. In fact, when physical therapy is used as the primary strategy for pain management, patients are expected to pay 72% fewer medical costs.

However, when it comes to rehabilitative work, the fields of physical therapy and occupational therapy are often confused. Both types of therapy help patients regain independence and return to their everyday lives. 

However, occupational rehabilitation and physical therapy use different approaches to reach these positive ends.

Occupational Rehabilitation vs Physical Rehabilitation
The key difference between occupational rehabilitation and physical rehabilitation is what the client gains from the treatment. A client will visit an occupational therapy center to improve their daily living activities such as washing, dressing, and eating. A client will visit a physical therapy center to improve their movement after an injury or orthopaedic surgery.

However, OT and PT do have their similarities. An occupational therapy clinic and a physical therapy clinic both:

  • Educate clients on their body’s healing process
  • Educate clients on preventing injuries
  • Educate clients on how to train their bodies to improve daily performance

Occupational Therapist vs Physical Therapist
An occupational therapist helps patients engage in daily life and activities. Patients who seek occupational rehabilitation often experience cognitive disabilities or are recovering from injuries impairing their motor skills and behavior. Common approaches to occupational therapy include habilitation, rehabilitation, and wellness promotion.

A physical therapist, on the other hand, treats a patient for a physical impairment. By using exercises, massage, heat therapy, and other techniques, a PT’s goal is to get a patient back up and moving in their everyday life.

For instance, a football player who’s sustained a brain injury and is no longer able to play on their team may consult an occupational therapist. An occupational therapist may be able to help this person understand what it is about football they loved so they can translate that love into another career. A physical therapist, on the other hand, may help a football player regain function in their knee after tearing their ACL. 

Different patients require different rehabilitation treatments. Whether you need physical therapy, occupational therapy, or orthopaedic pain management, Bluegrass Orthopaedics has the medical professionals and therapists who can help. Contact Bluegrass Orthopaedics today for more information on rehabilitation and pain management procedures.

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