Occupational therapists & physical therapists are similar but different.
Occupational therapy focuses on a person’s ability to perform activities of daily living.
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY (OT)
mainly focuses on activities of daily living (ADL’s). For example this would mean helping patients to eat and write again after a stroke. OT’s also modify movements or the environment so a patient can complete tasks safely. These modifications help patients lead full and active lives.
PHYSICAL THERAPY (PT)
focuses on treating the injury itself, through the use of orthopedics, manual therapy and modalities. With the goals of reducing pain and improving function.
Both professions educate patients on wellness and injury prevention. In some cases, like those having suffered a stroke, the patient may see both an OT and PT during recovery.
Occupational therapy is the only profession that helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). Occupational therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, and prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, or disability.
Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy services typically include:
- an individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals,
- customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals, and
- an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan.
Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment and/or task to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team. It is an evidence-based practice deeply rooted in science.