OT, PT…Which therapy might I need and what’s the difference?

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Jennifer Day is a Certified Occupational Therapist at Upland Hills Health. She works with patients of every age to help them re-learn or strengthen skills that they need to live a full, independent life. 

What is Occupational Therapy (OT)?

Occupational Therapy is a health and rehabilitation profession that uses assessments and interventions to help people gain or re-learn skills required to maintain independence in daily activities (occupations). Occupational Therapists enable individuals to live life to its fullest after injury or illness.

What is the difference between Occupational Therapy (OT) and Physical Therapy (PT)?

Both therapies provide hands-on rehabilitative treatments.  Both educate patients on how to prevent and avoid injuries.  Both educate on the healing process.  OT focuses on improving the patient’s ability to perform activities of daily living (things like eating, bathing, dressing, toileting and hygiene) whereas PT focuses on improving patient’s ability to perform movement of the body.

Upland Hills Health provides OT services in a variety of settings.

  • Birth to 3
  • Schools
  • Home Health
  • Nursing Home
  • Hospital- both inpatient and outpatient

Services provided may include, but are not limited to:

  • Activities of daily living:  Self Cares, Cooking, Home management tasks, School, Work, Leisure Activities
  • Ergonomics, body mechanics, joint protection techniques
  • Home safety evaluation, training and modifications
  • Lymphedema/Edema management
  • Manual techniques (hands-on)
  • Therapeutic exercises, individual home exercise programs
  • Training in adaptive equipment
  • Upper extremity function and hand dexterity
  • Use of Modalities: iontophoresis, ultrasound, fluidotherapy, heat, paraffin bath

For further information you can go to AOTA: The American Occupational Therapy Association, INC at www.aota.org or call UHH Therapy and Wellness Department 608-930-7147.