What is the Difference Between Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy?

Many patients are confused when it comes to the difference between occupational therapy and physical therapy. Both can be helpful to you after an injury or surgery or if you are struggling with the activities of daily living.

What does an Occupational Therapist do?

Well, we don’t help people find jobs. That’s a common misconception. No, we actually help patients with injuries, illnesses, or disabilities function in day-to-day life. An occupational therapist focuses on rehabilitating people to live normal lives after an accident or other situation that causes their body to function differently from the norm. This can include people who have experienced an injury or those who have a developmental or intellectual disability.

Difference Between Occupational and Physical TherapyOccupational Therapy

The main difference between occupational and physical therapy is the focus of treatment. PT primarily focuses on rehabilitating the body part that was injured while OT works holistically to help the patient perform activities of daily living. Occupational therapists still help to improve range of motion and strength, but we do this so patients are better able to perform daily tasks. Occupational therapists treat the whole person rather than just the injury or impairment.  In some cases a patient may start with a physical therapist and then continue working with an occupational therapist.

How are OT and PT similar?

While there is a difference between occupational and physical therapy, the fields do have some overlapping areas of treatment including:

  • Educating on the prevention of injury
  • Educating on the healing process
  • Delivering hands-on rehabilitative care

What makes the OTs at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group unique?

At Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group, we specialize in occupational therapy for the upper extremities. This means we help people who are struggling with hand, wrist, arm, and elbow issues.

  • We teach you how to get as much use out of these limbs as possible
  • We help you increase mobility and dexterity
  • We help you recover to full health after an injury
  • We work in conjunction with the CSOG hand, elbow, and nerve doctors to improve results after surgery
  • We specialize in custom splinting

You can find more information on our website, csog.net, or check out otpotential.com for information, resources, and tips.

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