Occupational vs Physical Therapy: What are the Key Differences?

Occupational Therapy vs Physical Therapy: What are the Key Differences?

The question “Do I need physical therapy or occupational therapy?” probably didn’t come to mind until you sustained an injury or developed a chronic illness. It’s understandable to assume that physical therapy and occupational therapy are the same because they both aim to improve your overall functioning, quality of life, and knowledge about how to maintain your health and well-being.

Quality Life Services offers physical therapy, occupational therapy and other rehabilitation services to help you or your loved one to regain a sense of independence and adapt to any lifestyle changes. In this article, we’ll help you to understand the difference between occupational therapy and physical therapy.

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy (OT) refers to a type of non-invasive healthcare that helps to resolve the problems that interfere with your or your loved one’s ability to perform everyday activities such as getting dressed, eating, moving around the house, going to work or school, and participating in social activities. 

During the sessions, you will work with your occupational therapist to determine the goals you want to meet. With their help, you will also focus on any of the following during your sessions:

  • Mental tasks
  • Strength
  • Balance
  • Coordination
  • Social interaction

OT is used to treat conditions such as:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic pain
  • Stroke
  • Mental health and behavioral issues
  • Brain injury
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Cancer
  • Poor balance

Examples of Occupational Therapy

When it comes to occupational therapy, multiple types will benefit different patients. Listed below are some of the specializations:

General Occupation Therapy

This type focuses on helping patients whose functional capabilities are severely affected by injury, pain, disability, or illness.    

Geriatric Occupational Therapy   

Geriatric occupational therapy can help seniors to cope with and manage their new challenges so they can retain their dignity and some sense of independence.   

What is Physical Therapy?

Physical Therapy (PT) helps you or your loved ones to develop, maintain and restore maximum body movement and physical function without surgery or medication. It can help you to recover from an injury, relieve pain, prevent future injury or deal with a chronic condition. 

PT is used to treat conditions such as:

  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Back pain

Examples of Physical Therapy

There are different types of PT used to treat a variety of conditions.  A few of them are:

Orthopedic Physical Therapy

This treats musculoskeletal injuries, fractures, sprains, bursitis, tendinitis and chronic health problems.

Geriatric Physical Therapy

This type helps the elderly with conditions that affect their mobility and physical function, such as arthritis, hip and joint replacement and balance disorders. 

Neurological Physical Therapy

Neurological physical therapy is ideal for patients with Alzheimer’s disease, brain injury, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury, and stroke. 

Differences Between Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy

In a nutshell, Physical Therapy focuses on the restoration or improvement of mobility, strength, and range of motion while Occupational Therapy aims to improve the motor skills you need to perform everyday tasks.

Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Available in Southwest, Ohio

The type of therapy you choose depends on your specific condition and needs. The team at Quality Life Services can liaise with your physician to help you decide which therapy is best suited for you or your loved ones. What’s more, we make house calls so that you can get top-quality physical therapy and occupational therapy at home. 

If you’d like to get more information on our home health services schedule an appointment or contact us at (513) 860-1481.

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