What is Occupational Therapy?

     Occupational therapy is the art and science of rehabilitating and re-educating patients to return to their daily activities who have suffered an injury, illness, or have a disability.  It is not just pertaining to a job – occupational therapy includes all the activities a person does from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed.  

     The occupational therapist’s approach to rehabilitation is a holistic one, which includes the entire person and each individual’s functional needs and roles.  Occupational therapists use a client-centered evaluation that identifies deficits in the ability to perform self-care, home management and outside activities.  As a part of the evaluation process, occupational therapists identify psychosocial, environmental and other factors that may influence rehabilitation outcomes.  Occupational therapists asses a patient’s level of function and develop a treatment plan that is designed to meet the goals and needs of activities such as returning to work or living independently at home. 

     Some of the health conditions that benefit from occupational therapy include:

  • Work related injuries or repetitive stress injuries
  • Limitations following a stroke or heart attack
  • Arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or other serious chronic conditions
  • Burns, spinal cord injuries, or amputations
  • Broken bones or other injuries from falls, sports injuries, or accidents

     For patients who suffer from MS or have incurred a stoke, our treatment program includes neuromuscular education and therapeutic activities to improve their ability to complete activities of daily living such as eating, grooming and dressing.  We also provide functional electrical stimulation through the Bioness Ness H200 system.  This system helps to retrain the brain and stimulates the muscles of the hand to grasp and release.  

     Research shows that clients who receive occupational therapy interventions are significantly less likely to deteriorate and more likely to be independent in their ability to perform activities of daily living at the end of treatment.  Occupational therapy interventions also may be associated with reduced caregiver burden, decreased rates of institutionalization and increased quality of life.        

     Advanced Physical Therapy Center’s Kim Cochran, OTR, CHT, says, “We  help our patients from keeping their lives on hold.  Through treatment and some modifications of daily living, a patient can get back to resuming a normal and productive lifestyle.”