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What distinguishes occupational therapy from physical therapy?

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2023 | Personal Injury |

A serious injury generally involves rehabilitation to help you regain some quality of life. Even if you cannot fully recover, rehab may prevent your condition from getting worse or you may even improve. Generally, rehabilitation involves either physical or occupational therapy.

It is easy to confuse one of these therapies for the other. However, while both therapies share some traits, they have different goals in mind.

A look at physical therapy

People generally need physical therapy when they suffer from an injury or ailment that impairs their movement or ability to function. PT often employs physical exercises to build up strength and help a patient perform various motions.

A variety of conditions could necessitate PT. Examples include neurological diseases, the aftermath of a heart attack, lung problems such as cystic fibrosis, hand disorders, and problems with joints.

A look at occupational therapy

Patients that have problems doing ordinary daily activities usually turn to occupational therapy. OT helps people develop and refine motor skills that have suffered due to illness or injury. For instance, you might need help learning how to dress yourself, take a shower, or get out of a tub. OT can also manage emotional disorders.

Choosing occupational or physical therapy

To determine which kind of therapy you need, your medical providers will look at your condition and your particular needs. You will probably undergo PT to manage pain and regain movement in your arms, but OT may be more appropriate if you require help with lifting objects and bathing.

Knowing the kind of therapy you require can also help you forecast your medical costs. You may have to deal with an insurer if another party has caused you injury. You should know your possible medical outlook going forward.