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Occupational Therapy and. Physical Therapy: What Are the Differences?

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In the field of medical sciences, two disciplines are often mistaken for one another: physical therapy and occupational therapy. While one common thing about them is that they help with improving the lives of patients, they are actually different from one another. The differences basically lie in the fact that they have different approaches when it comes to helping people get back on their feet after surgery, an accident, or a life-changing event that has affected their physical health and mobility.

The differences between the two therapies are important things that you need to understand so that you will be equipped with useful knowledge in case you need such services. There are many things that you need to remember, but you are not supposed to keep everything in your mind. If you are looking for some guide that will help you understand the differences between occupational therapy and physical therapy, here are some of the things that you need to take note of:

The Similarities

You cannot deny that the two fields have similarities and overlaps. Basically, both physical and occupational therapies inform people how to avoid and prevent physical strains and injuries. If injuries are not prevented, physical and occupational therapists will educate the patients on the healing process and the procedures involved. Once the patient is out of the hospital, both therapists will be there to help them get back on their feet by making daily tasks much easier for them.

Getting to Know Physical Therapy

physical therapy

Physical therapy is all about dealing with physical injuries of a patient. The objective is to help the patient reclaim their physical health through exercise, massages, and other specialized techniques. This is why many sports team always have a physical therapist on standby in case the players sustain injuries. Some physical therapists may also be part of a team that treats Bell’s palsy. These professionals may even be assigned to keep an injury from getting worse so that the patient will not have to undergo surgery or depend on long-term medication.

Physical therapy is also about the development of physical and wellness programs, which are usually designed to promote active lifestyles. Physical therapists have specializations such as neurology, orthopedics and geriatrics.

Understanding Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists, on the other hand, are tasked with the improvement of a person’s quality of life. This is done through programs that help patients carry out daily and self-care tasks such as walking, getting dressed, eating, and going to the bathroom. They make adaptation much easier for the patient while they recover from their injuries. Professionals use occupational therapy equipment and supplies to make their work much easier.

While physical therapy and occupational therapy have some minor similarities, the differences between the two are stark and obvious. You will have to understand such differences as you might need these services at some point—hopefully, nothing major. Furthermore, the understanding that you will gain will help you shape your expectations. Regardless, it would be wise to talk to your general physician or to a physical therapist and occupational therapist for more information.

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