What is occupational therapy?
Occupational therapy is customized to meet the specific requirements of each individual. Therapists begin by assessing a patient’s strengths and weaknesses. Then they devise a schedule of exercises and activities geared at strengthening the motor skills that need development. Things like picking things up with tweezers are good examples of exercises that help to develop fine motor skills. Jumping jacks and running an obstacle course are examples of exercises that may help you enhance your gross motor abilities.
Someone who has difficulty organizing their movements may benefit from therapy focused on everyday activities such as getting dressed. They assist individuals in learning the first stages and the sequence of activities that will be performed after them.
What is an occupational therapist?
Working with health care team members, occupational therapists may assist with evaluating and treating disorders that impair a person’s ability to do everyday tasks ranging from personal care to high-level job-related activities. Patient-centered treatment regimens and assistance with a wide range of functional tasks are the hallmarks of occupational therapy. Occupational therapy helps patients improve their function and their visual, cognitive, and general coordination abilities.
The ultimate aim of occupational therapy is to improve a patient’s capacity to execute tasks with the most significant amount of independence feasible in their daily lives.
What are the goals of occupational therapy?
The main objectives of occupational therapy are to
- Increase your capacity to do different everyday activities safely and productively, and 2- improve your overall well-being.
- encourage self-reliance and increased productivity
- Teach family members and friends how to assist someone who is receiving occupational therapy.
- When does occupational therapy become necessary?
Occupational therapy may be suggested if a medical condition or disease impairs your ability to do different daily activities consistently.
The following are some examples of conditions for which occupational therapy may be prescribed:
- Healing after an injury or surgery
- The treatment of pain
- Neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, or rehabilitation after a stroke, among others
- Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are two examples of joint disorders.
- Conditions affecting the hands include carpal tunnel syndrome and trigger finger
- Developmental problems like autism spectrum disorder, learning difficulties, and intellectual disabilities are also included.
- Dementia, often known as Alzheimer’s disease
The treatment do you expect to receive?
The occupational therapist will examine your medical history and your current condition to identify your specific requirements. This information will be used to create a treatment plan and establish precise objectives, after which they will evaluate the results.
Some of the things that may be involved as part of occupational therapy include:
- Assisting you in learning or relearning how to do everyday activities such as getting dressed, eating, and bathing, among others
- Examining your house, school, or job to see how you might make your everyday chores more manageable.
- Learning how to utilize assistance equipment such as wheelchairs and walkers is number three on the list.
- Assisting you with activities requiring fine motor abilities, such as writing or buttoning a shirt.
- Showing you how to securely enter and exit chairs, your bed, or a bathtub (if applicable).
- Exercises to do to assist improve flexibility or relieve discomfort are shown in number six.
- Assisting you with programs that will assist you in returning to work
- Teaching you stress management techniques
- Educating your family and careers on how to support you in your day-to-day life successfully
Where can you receive occupational therapy?
Occupational therapists operate in a wide range of settings, including the following:
- outpatient clinics or offices (number one)
- Facilities that provide inpatient care, such as hospitals and nursing homes
- Psychiatric treatment institutions
- Educational establishments
- Home health care agencies
How can Occupational Therapy help kids?
For children, school-based treatment may include work on school-related activities such as writing. Private occupational therapy may place a greater emphasis on self-care practices.
In any case, being able to do simple activities may assist in developing children’s confidence, which can be undermined when they are experiencing difficulties. When children see improvements, their self-esteem may be boosted.
What Do Occupational Therapists Do?
What distinguishes occupational therapy from other types of treatment is that occupational therapists address the entire person rather than just one problem. Occupational therapists (OTs) are dedicated to supporting individuals recuperating from injuries or who have developmental or cognitive impairments that impact their motor skills, emotions, and behavior to participate in everyday activities fully.
National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy describes occupational therapy as using a comprehensive approach that considers not just the causes for a client’s decreased involvement in activities but the client’s responsibilities and surroundings.
The approach is divided into three categories:
- Promotion of health and well-being
- Rehabilitative measures
- Habilitation (or rehabilitation)
This approach aims to promote a person’s well-being in all aspects of their life, including social and physical, emotional, and vocational aspects.
Difference between occupational and physical therapy?
Physical therapists are trained professionals that specialize in the movement of the body. Workers who have lost mobility as a result of an injury will get assistance in regaining it. They may even assist in the prevention of decreased mobility via the use of exercise and stretching regimens. Occupational therapists are concerned with addressing the issues that prevent patients from doing their everyday activities. These may vary from essential work duties to more sophisticated employment responsibilities.
Occupational therapists are also more likely than other healthcare professionals to have a certification in hand therapy. CHTs are occupational therapists or physical therapists who have at least three years of experience in upper quarter rehabilitation and have passed a comprehensive test of advanced clinical skills and theory in upper quarter rehabilitation, according to the Hand Therapy Certification Commission.
It may not be easy to recover fully if you do not get proper medical care after an accident. Workers may recover considerably more quickly with the assistance of physical and occupational therapists than they would if they were left to rest on their own, resulting in fewer missed working hours. Therapy may also decrease the need for specialized therapy and other services, resulting in a lower total cost and better long-term management for the individual receiving treatment.