Occupational therapy VS. physical therapy; which is really better

Occupational Therapy and Physical help you improve your life and recover from pain and illness. They both hold a few similarities and differences. You may not know which one to choose or have a few questions about each one of them. 

In this article, you know handy details about occupational and Physical therapy, differences, similarities, the many benefits, when and where to receive them, and which one to choose. 


What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy (OT) focuses on improving the daily activities a person does or wants to do. OT could do this by improving the peoples;

  • Skills 
  • Environment 
  • Activity 

The patient might need help with motor skills. They are the movements and actions made by the muscles. You need the motors skills to do most of your daily activities like putting on clothes, using a cellphone, eating food, etc. 

The patient might have difficulty with movements after an illness or injury. OT can help them regain independence in doing the personal daily activities. 


When do you need occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy is to recover from conditions affecting your movement. OT can help you in the following ways:

  • Optimizing mobility after an injury 
  • Rehabilitation from surgeries 
  • Pain management 
  • Recovery from stroke 
  • ASD rehabilitation 
  • Hand conditions
  • Neurological conditions
  • Recovery of psychological conditions (Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or anxiety.)


What does occupational therapy do for you?

The nurse or occupational therapist will check the patient’s medical history and conditions. They will evaluate the situation and determine what type of therapy you need. 

Some of the services or things you can receive in OT is as follows:

  • Learning to do the daily tasks you have a problem with.
  • Reviewing your routine to help you do them easier. 
  • Training on how to use durable medical equipment or assistance devices.
  • Help with the motor skill activities like writing.
  • Train to increase flexibility or mobility.
  • Help you get back to work.
  • Stress management techniques. 
  • Educating family on how to take care of patients or the disabled.

The mentioned items are not all of the services that occupational therapy provides you. They can vary by your conditions. 


Where can you receive occupational therapy?

You can find Occupational Therapy in the following centers:

  • Fitness centers 
  • Schools 
  • Home Health agencies
  • Hospitals or nursing homes 
  • Clinics 


What is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy (PT) is to help patients improve the quality of life through training, appropriate exercise, and hands-on care. PT aims to help patients move after injury or illness, decrease pain, and enhance gross motor skills.  

The PT’s aim is not just to rehabilitate patients but to prevent further damage or injury. Movement and mobility are essential for everyone’s life. It is particularly true for the elderly or the patients recovering from a condition. 


What benefits does physical therapy have for you?

Physical therapy can help you in the following ways: 

  • Decrease your pain 
  • Strengthing movement 
  • Fall prevention 
  • Manage age-related issues
  • Decrease body weakness 
  • Avoiding surgery 
  • Improving balance 
  • Recover from or prevent a sports injury.
  • Manage diabetes and vascular conditions
  • Training new ways to keep function and fitness of the body


When do you need physical therapy?

You might need physical therapy when your movement gets affected. You could use PT in the following cases:

  • Enhancing movement or mobility 
  • Rehabilitation after surgery 
  • Reduce or managing pain
  • Osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis
  • Recovery after a stroke 
  • Neurological conditions
  • Hurting your back 
  • Have pain in regular work out 
  • Intellectual or developmental delay
  • Lung disorders 
  • Heart failures or disorders 
  • Cancer 

How often you need physical therapy is up to your conditions and the source of pain. The health care or the therapist often determines the required session per week. Two sessions are a standard. 


What do physical therapists do to help patients?

Physical therapists use a different range of techniques to help patients. The patient’s condition also plays a crucial role. They could use the following therapies:

  • Massage 
  • Stretching
  • Appropriate exercise 
  • Ultrasound 
  • Water sport 
  • Hands-on manipulation
  • Application of hot and cold
  • Electrical stimulation

The mentioned services are not all of it. PTs can use a wide range of services so to help the patient recovery. 

Athletes can also use physical therapy. They may not experience pain or health problems, but PT can prevent injuries and other conditions from happening. Many athletes try to receive it regularly. 


Where can you receive physical therapy service?

You can find Physical Therapy in the following centers:

  • Fitness centers 
  • Schools 
  • Home Health agencies
  • Hospitals or nursing homes 
  • Clinics 


What are the differences?

Physical therapy‘s main focus is to assist in improving function, mobility, and movement. The therapist could use a wide range of stretches and exercises or physical activities. 

For instance, someone who had a stroke or broken leg could visit physical therapy as part of the recovery process. The PT works with the patient to strengthen him/her. The patient will be able to move sooner and have less pain. 

People who have chronic pain might need physical therapy. Such types of pains often last longer than three months.  Arthritis, back pain, or sciatica are among chronic pains. Such types of pains are not going anywhere and need help to get treated. 

Occupational Therapy assists the patients to do the daily tasks easily. OT helps you increasing your life’s quality and do the daily tasks better. The OT could change the environment, so it suits your special needs. 

For instance, someone who has experienced a stroke will relearn how to get dressed or eat food. The OT will change the bathroom so the patient can use it with a grab bar.

OTs can also help people suffering from:

  • Drug addictions, 
  • Personality, or mood disorders. 

The therapist can help patients to manage money, develop social skills, and take part in community events. 


Occupational therapy or physical therapy; which one do you need?

The type of therapy you need is up to your conditions and needs. 

If your condition is preventing you from walking or moving body parts without pain, you might need physical therapy. The therapist can help you to decrease pain, increase your mobility and strength. They use stretches, exercise, and other methods to assist you to have a better life condition. 

Suppose you are facing difficulty putting clothes on or getting around. In that case, Occupational Therapy can help you improve the motor skills for particular tasks. 

Your doctor can guide you in picking the right one. He/she can explain the benefits of each one and help you with it. The center which provides such services often instructs you on which service to choose from. 


Occupational and physical near me in Las Vegas

Do you have chronic pain or just have experienced an injury? Physical therapy can help you recover.  If one of the relatives can not perform the daily tasks, occupational therapy can help him/her in doing so. 

The article explained what are occupational and physical therapies, the differences and similarities, when and where to receive them, and the many benefits they provide.

Whether you need occupational or physical therapy is up to your needs and conditions. 

In case you are in need of OT or PT, Health & Care Professional Network is at your service in Las Vegas. We have provided in-home skilled nursing services to the residents since 2006. Give us a call at (702) 871-9917 to know further about our wide range of services. Our nurses provide the best care in your place of residence.

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