By Caitlin Smith, OTD
Did you know April was occupational therapy month? Probably not. If you are like many people you might be confused about what exactly occupational therapy (OT) does.
Maybe you had a co-worker see an OT when she had carpal tunnel or your friend’s kid went to see an OT for sensory regulation issues. Your great uncle may have had an OT teach him how to dress after his hip replacement. It can be confusing to define OT because the same field would address all of the above and more. OT helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (or as we call them–occupations). For a child these may be simple, such as playing, learning, and self care. As we get older, we take on more complex activities, which may include typing at work, cooking meals, and managing finances.We often take for granted the importance of these tasks until something gets in the way of completing them. OT is founded on the simple belief that being able to complete all the activities you want and need to do leads to increase quality of life, social engagement and overall well being (and research backs this up!).
OT is a science-driven, evidence-based profession that enables people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health and prevent – or live better with – illness, injury or disability. Deceptively simple, right? Occupational therapists take an indepth look at your personal abilities, as well as the tasks and environments and help find a way for you to get back to what matters. As someone far more eloquent once stated, “Occupational therapy is where science, creativity and compassion collide” (Kensky, 2016). Treatment plans may address physical impairments, emotional barriers, or modify the task or environment to get you back to your valued activities
PhysioPartner’s occupational therapist treats a wide range of impairments. With specialty in the upper body and lymphedema/oncology care, our OT can help you get back to your valued activities after:
Elbow,wrist or hand fracture, strain, or sprain
Repetitive strain injuries (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, De Quervains, trigger finger, TFCC injury)
Help you cope with chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, chronic pain/RSD, or neurological disorders
Provide ergonomic evaluations to prevent work related pain/strain
Provide manual lymph drainage and educate on prevention of upper extremity lymphedema
Treat fatigue, cognitive changes, neuropathy or general deconditioning during or post cancer treatment
Address sensory processing issues, fine motor and visual motor impairments in pediatric population
Ask us if occupational therapy can help you!