Difference Between Occupational Therapy And Physical Therapy

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Physical therapy and occupational therapy improve the lives of people who have undergone surgery, have experienced a fatal or life-altering injury or accident, or want to enhance the quality of their life in their later years. But PT & OT do not work in the same manner. In fact, these two therapies function differently and focus on different goals to achieve. 

Occupational Therapy Vs Physical Therapy  

The difference between occupational therapy and physical therapy lies in the scope of these therapies. While physical therapy is fixated on focusing on improving a person's movements. However, occupational therapy has a much more holistic approach and works to improve different aspects of an individual's life, such as physical, social, emotional, and work, to name a few. 

What is Occupational Therapy? 

Occupational therapy teaches one how to adapt and perform various tasks at school, at work, and at home despite their medical condition and circumstances. It also helps one learn how to use adaptive equipment to stay active and lead an independent lifestyle. Often occupational therapy may include dealing with babies and helping them develop. 

When and if a person's physical or mental abilities change abruptly, an OT can assist them in getting back to normal and aid in carrying out self-care routines, social interactions, and leisure activities. 

What is Physical Therapy? 

Physical therapy aims at improving the movement and quality of life of a person who has experienced an injury or disability. Physical Therapy helps in easing pain and aiding in the recovery from a serious injury. PT can essentially be used as the only intended treatment for a person or as a part of more invasive treatment. 

Physical therapy is an effective option for individuals who want to enhance their fitness and overall health. It also assists people in preventing, relieving pain or recovering from injuries and avoiding using NSAIDs for pain relief

Who can benefit from Physical Therapy? 

Physical therapy works wonders and may offer efficacious assistance in the treatment of a variety of serious medical conditions through exercising. These medical ailments include -   


Who can benefit from Occupational Therapy? 

Occupational therapy promotes health and wellness in people with congenital disorders and mobility issues and benefits by - 

  • Helping children to participate in social situations. 
  • Improving independent mobility with mobility aids such as wheelchairs, canes, and crutches. 
  • Injury rehabilitation after an accident. 
  • Supporting the elderly with physical and cognitive changes
  • Assessing assistive seating options to maximize independence. 
  • Alleviating the risk of pressure injury. 
  • Providing equipment for adults who have experienced a stroke to help them live independently. 
  • Evaluating and treating children with a slow developmental pace. 
  • Assisting clients with cardiac problems in planning their daily activities to promote fitness and independence 
  • Providing stress management ideas and activities to improve work-life balance and other interests. 
  • Helping with adaptive equipment for daily tasks
  • Dealing and carrying out aquatic therapy to older adults. 

Similarities Between OT and PT 

Despite the difference between occupational therapy and physical therapy, there are also some similarities between these two types of therapies. These similarities lie in the -  

  • Treatment Plans- OT and PT evaluate an individual, tailor a tailored treatment plan, monitor their progress, and make necessary changes. 
  • Medical Conditions - PT & OT treats a wide variety of medical conditions, such as - 
  • Involvement of Families: OT & PT work extensively with family members and caregivers to offer their clients optimum support during their treatment.  
  • Age Group: Occupational therapy and physical therapy both treat people of all age groups with medical conditions. 
  • Method of Practice: Both therapies are practiced in several settings, including clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes. They may be provided to people through home health services or schools too.  

OT vs PT: Which one to choose? 

Usually, a doctor recommends occupational therapy or physical therapy, or maybe both at the same time, depending on the person's situation. The medical professional will analyze the condition and prescribe whichever they deem the most appropriate to treat one's condition. 

Rehab Store offers therapy essentials such as equipment and tools necessary for occupational therapy and physical therapy. We at Rehab Store believe in being your companion on this road to recovery. We facilitate bringing to our clientele all that they need. Place your order for all therapy essentials, daily living aids, fitness, and balance tools, to name a few, and get discounts on all your purchases.  


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