To the average person, occupational and physical therapy may seem to be one and the same. It’s true that these types of therapy share many similarities, but there are also differences that make each distinct. For example, the goals of these two therapy types are comparable, but the way they set about reaching these goals contrast sharply.
Similarity in goals
Before talking about the contrasts between occupational and physical therapy, many people may want to know why they’re thought of as the same thing. One answer to this is that they share many similar goals.
Both types of therapy are designed to help people recover from injuries and treat medical conditions. Both also have a strong educational component. This includes helping patients figure out how to effectively treat their issue. They both seek to help patients learn how to avoid the same problem in the future. Both disciplines also work toward the goal of helping people improve their ability to do normal daily tasks and activities.
Occupational therapy differences
There are several major differences between occupational and physical therapy. Occupational therapy is intended to go beyond physical injuries. For example, it can also be used to treat patients with developmental and cognitive issues that are affecting physical health. Occupational therapists can also help patients deal with emotional issues caused by injuries or medical conditions.
Let’s say you sprained your ankle while playing in your weekly flag football league. Your inability to play left you feeling depressed or angry. An occupational therapist can help treat the physical sprain. They can also help you figure out why the injury is causing these feelings. This way they’ll be able to help you find treatment for your mind and body.
Physical therapy differences
A difference between occupational and physical therapy is the focus of physical therapists. Physical therapists focus on treating physical body structures like ligaments, tendons and muscles. For example, they’ll focus on returning the mobility to your ankle. They’ll also design a therapy plan intended to help reduce your pain. Physical therapy also works to provide patients with other physically based benefits like:
- Increased range of motion
- Improved muscle strength
- Increased joint stability
- Faster recovery
All these aims would be accomplished using techniques that focus on the bones, ligaments, muscles and other structures.
Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation offers high-quality physical therapy services
At Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation, our team can help you with many issues that need physical therapy. We’ve helped many people with sports injuries and car accident injuries. We also encourage you and work side by side with you throughout the therapy process.
Contact our team today for more information about our services or to set up an initial appointment.