Occupational Therapy vs. Physical Therapy

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Many people might question the relationship between occupational therapy and physical therapy. Some think the professions are the same or that the terms are the same; there are a few different therapies for people who have been faced with a stroke, a disability, or any injury that has caused physical restrictions. The methods and techniques used in these therapies can overlap with each other, but both occupational therapy and physical therapy covers all aspects of the patient’s health including their physical, psychological, and mental state.

Occupational therapists and physical therapists are similar when it comes to training. The fields of occupational and physical therapy usually involve the training of patients and improving the abilities of their motor functions. Occupational therapists and physical therapists share certain areas such as body awareness, strength and endurance, classroom positioning and adaptations, and sensory motor skills. They both involve accessing the medical history of the patients as well as evaluating their current performances, setting therapeutic goals, developing a plan, and applying a treatment that enables the patient to function better. After an illness, serious injury, or surgery, you may recover slowly. One may need to regain their strength, relearn lost skills or find new ways of doing things they once did. The process is called rehabilitation. Rehabilitation often focuses on occupational therapy to help the patients with their daily activities. Physical therapy is needed to help their fitness, mobility, and strength.

One example of how a similar activity might be used in occupational therapy versus physical therapy is where the patient might be asked to work on a crossword puzzle or another activity. In occupational therapy, the OT would be watching to see how well the patient is able to understand and spot the words among other letters, and the patient’s capacity to hold the pencil steadily and circle the word. In...
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