When people hear occupational therapy, they also think about physical therapy. These two healthcare fields are believed to be related to one another. Well, this relation will greatly depend on the condition of the patient. Having physical therapy does not necessarily mean that you need occupational therapy and vice versa. There is a big difference between occupational therapy and physical therapy. So, if you are considering becoming one of these medical professionals, you should know their differences first.
An occupational therapist focuses on the functional abilities of the patient. Occupational therapy does not focus on treating the injury but rather, occupational therapists help the patient deal with injury and restore his or her independence to perform daily activities and physical functions. Occupational therapy is important in the life skills of a patient.
Occupational therapists use therapeutic activities to help patients improve in performing different functions. Occupational therapists help with fine motor skills to help in the coordination of hand movements. The occupational therapist can also help with visual perceptual and motor skills. Most importantly, occupational therapists help with self-care skills like feeding, dressing up and grooming.
Physical therapy is more focused on treating the injury rather than the occupations of the person. Physical therapists use different machines, equipment, techniques and exercises to help strengthen the injured area of the body. Physical therapists are well trained in human anatomy and the musculoskeletal system. They are very knowledgeable about skeletal and muscular injuries and they specialize in rehabilitating these injuries.
Physical therapists are focused on treating gross motor skills; these are activities done by the large muscle groups of the body. They are also focusing on mobility skills to help the patient regain mobility while rehabilitating the injury. Physical therapists also help with postural control and alignment.
The differences between occupational therapy and physical therapy are quite obvious but it cannot be questioned that both of these healthcare fields work hand-in-hand as well. Patients who are injured can get treatment for their injury and make sure that the patient restores his independence and functions once the injury is rehabilitated.
Occupational and physical therapists work together to make sure the patient gets back on track and has an improved quality of life. How about you, what do you prefer? Do you feel like being an occupational therapist or physical therapist more? Surely, you will be able to make your mind up after reading their differences.