Occupational Therapy Vs Physical Therapy: Differences Worth Knowing

Occupational Therapy as well as Physical therapy, both of the therapies offers a lot of benefit to the people who actually require it. Both these therapies aid people in maintaining their independence, in maximizing their function and also aid in leading healthier and active lives. Though both of these therapies are prescribed for a patient, there are certain differences between the two. Let us know about the differences between occupational therapy and physical therapy in the following arrays of the article.

Occupational Therapy Vs Physical Therapy

Occupational Therapy Vs Physical Therapy: Differences worth Knowing

Occupational Therapy Vs Physical Therapy: Basic Differences

The simplest way to describe the differentiate between occupational therapy and physical therapy is that an occupational therapist treats the patient’s impairment in action while physical therapy assistant or physical therapist treats the patient’s actual impairment. The occupational therapist aids the patient in completing necessary everyday task with the impairment, which may involve applying new tools and various techniques. However, the physical therapist tries to improve the impairment itself by improving mobility, aligning bones and joints or by reducing pain.

Occupational Therapy Vs Physical Therapy: Differences Based on Definition

Occupational therapy or OT is defined as a holistic health care profession that aims in promoting health by enabling individuals to perform meaningful and purposeful activities across their lifespan.

However, Physical therapy or PT is a health care profession that is primarily concerned with the remediation or fixing of impairments and disabilities and enhance the mobility, functional ability and the overall quality of active life and movement potential.

Occupational Therapy Vs Physical Therapy: Differences Based on the Specialized Medical Professionals

An occupational therapist is a professional who would recommend adaptive equipment like reachers, special dishes and utensils, dressing aids, positioning splints etc.

However, a physical therapist is a medical professional who is licensed to assess and also treat impairments and functional limitations. Physical therapists are qualified enough to recommend appropriate medical and assistive devices for patients like bracers, walkers, wheelchairs, canes, shower chairs etc. One of the vital part of the Physical therapist’s role is educating the patient about her or his condition

Occupational Therapy Vs Physical Therapy: Differences Based on People Who Require These Therapies

Occupational Therapy is required by people with mental and physical impairments, chronic conditions like arthritis, after sudden serious health issues like a stroke, after a work related injury, people with developmental disabilities etc.

Physical therapy is essential for people with Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, after injuries or long-term health issues like back pain, spinal stenosis,;osteoarthritis etc.

Occupational Therapy Vs Physical Therapy: Differences Based on the Therapies in Action

Let us consider a patient recovering from knee replacement surgery. His or her Occupational Therapist would teach how to make use of a wheelchair in the early stages of recovery, will also help him or her to practice climbing up and down stairs with new knee etc. Occupational therapist may assist the patient in performing hygiene tasks at the sink etc.

Physical therapists would most likely assign several exercises to the patient for improving mobility with the new artificial knee and also help in easing post surgery stiffness and pain. Physical therapist would also help the patient to stand from a wheelchair and aid in maintaining standing balance.

Mostly, occupational therapist and physical therapist collaborate closely to aid the patient achieve complete recovery.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 20, 2022

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