Occupational Therapy vs Physical Therapy

It can be hard to tell occupational and physical therapy apart if you are unfamiliar with the field. Both types of treatment fall under the category of rehabilitative services and have many things in common, but there are a few key differentiators that can help you determine which is right for you. The most fundamental difference between the two is that occupational therapy takes a holistic approach to treatment, while physical therapy focuses on solely improving a patient’s ability to live their body. If you are considering physical or occupational therapy, knowing the difference can help you make the best decision for your needs. 

What is Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy focuses on helping patients perform activities that are important to their everyday lives, including cognitive, behavioral, and sensory skills. This type of therapy usually focuses on patients that are recovering from physical, mental, developmental, and emotional conditions. The purpose of occupational therapy is to empower the patient with the abilities they need to be able to lead an independent lifestyle. This is done by helping patients hone their eye-hand coordination, and fine motor skills, learn how to complete basic tasks as well as regulate and manage their emotions through the completion of various tasks, or occupations. Occupational therapists work with infants, children, youth, and adults as well as their families in a variety of settings, including schools, clinics, homes, hospitals, and the community. 

What is Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can help patients with physical and developmental conditions as well, but it is more geared toward injury recovery and regaining motor function. Physical therapists are often referred to as ‘movement experts’ and work with patients that have lost some level of motor function due to an illness or injury such as 

-A fractured bone or sprained joint

-Musculoskeletal conditions, such as a torn rotator cuff, 

-Neck and back pain

-Temporomandibular joint disorders

-Cardiopulmonary conditions, such as cystic fibrosis, post-myocardial infarction, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

-Sports injuries

and more 

The goal of physical therapy is to help the patient regulate and manage their symptoms by increasing muscle strength, flexibility, and increasing insurance. 

Which One is Right For You

When you are weighing the benefits of occupational therapy vs physical therapy, it can help to consider what is causing your symptoms. If you are dealing with a sports-related injury, want to avoid surgery, or are struggling with a limited range of motion, physical therapy could be the better choice for you. Physical Therapists are trained to help you identify the cause of your pain, and eliminate it through the strengthening, loosening, and realigning of your body. If you are struggling to adjust to life after surgery, need help performing everyday tasks, or would like to improve the skills you need to stay independent, occupational therapy can help you develop a skill set that will help you achieve those goals. 

Find Occupational and Physical Therapy Near You With Theradynamics!

When it comes to physical therapy vs occupational therapy, both are winners. If you or someone you know could benefit from occupational or physical therapy, don’t wait to get started! Here at Theradynamics, we believe in using the latest and most advanced medical technologies in our practice. Our Interactive Metronome is an advanced occupational therapy tool that offers a wide variety of programs to help you develop your motor skills through scenario games that improve mind-muscle connections. Our professionals are dedicated to providing a thorough, one on one treatment plan that will help you get back on your feet as soon as possible. If you would like to learn more about the difference between occupational therapy and physical therapy or would like to schedule an appointment, click the link at the top of the page to get in touch with us today.