Occupational Therapy vs. Physical Therapy: What’s the Difference?
April 12, 2019
The fields of occupational therapy (OT) and physical therapy (PT) often
get confused. Both specialties include hands-on treatment to help people
recover and perform everyday tasks, but each field takes a unique approach in
how it helps individuals get back to their normal routines.
One key difference between OT and PT is that OT focuses most on
improving a person’s ability to perform day-to-day tasks, and PT focuses
on improving a person’s ability to actively move a part of the human body that
might be injured or impaired.
Perhaps you broke your leg while climbing down a ladder, and now you
have to be on crutches for a couple of months. In this scenario, you could
regularly meet with an OT to discuss your desire for fast healing. Maybe you
want to heal as quickly as possible because you look forward to getting back to
the gym, or maybe you desire to go for your routine walks outdoors with your
dog. Your OT would keep your goal in sight and help you focus on accomplishing
these tasks as independently as possible.
Maybe you love to run, but your hips are really tight and inflexible
from years of high impact exercise. Your PT would diagnose the physical root of
the problem and work with you to create a treatment program that will help you
recover safely. Working on strength and stability, you and your PT would work
together to restore the injured part of your body back to a healthy state. It
is likely that your PT would also provide resources and exercises for you to do
at home to improve flexibility and relieve pain.
OT and PT have different roles in the healthcare industry, there is a great
deal of crossover between the two disciplines. They both provide education on
how to prevent injuries, help you throughout the healing process and improve
daily life. In many cases, both professionals are needed to provide expert
advice in a situation involving injury recovery.
Read more about the physical therapy services Campbell Clinic provides or make an appointment
with a physician today.