When you’re working with numerous specialists during your rehabilitation journey, it can be confusing to keep track of what each person does. This is especially true if you’re not already familiar with each of the professions that are part of your rehabilitative team.
In particular, many people are unsure about how physical therapists and occupational therapists differ in their treatment approaches. Because there’s some slight overlap in what each of these professional does, it can be confusing to understand the goal of each type of therapy. Let us help clear the confusion with an explanation of what a physical therapist and an occupational therapist does.
A physical therapist’s main goal is to help you or your loved one restore mobility after an accident or injury. This is often achieved by focusing on different activities or exercises that are designed to improve the body’s function. This includes:
- Balance training
- Breathing exercises
- Strength, endurance training
- Coordination training
- Stretching exercises
- Neuromuscular re education
An occupational therapist’s focus is to find ways to help others complete meaningful daily activities. Sometimes this might include helping to rehabilitate a patient’s body, somewhat similar to physical therapy. However, in other cases, an occupational therapist’s job may include finding strategies for completing familiar tasks in new ways. This often requires modifying the environment around patient, instead of changing the patient him- or herself. Check this list for occupational therapy ideas.
Many people often work with both physical and occupational therapists, as each type of health care practitioner fulfills different functions. Now that you know the difference, you’ll be better able to understand the role that each one plays on your rehabilitative team.
Are you curious about how the health professionals at Fox Subacute’s skilled nursing facility can help you or a loved one? Please contact us to learn more about the services we offer!