Occupational Therapy vs. Physical Therapy in Cutler BayOccupational Therapy vs. Physical Therapy in Cutler Bay

If you are recovering from an injury, it’s easy to be confused about whether you should seek out an occupational therapist or a physical therapist. Is one better than the other? What is best for your particular injury? The answer isn’t a simple yes or no. Instead, you have to evaluate various options and figure out which is right for you. We can share how Occupational Therapy vs. Physical Therapy in Cutler Bay can benefit you in the long run.

What is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy is the practice of using exercise and physical manipulation to heal physical injuries. A physical therapist is the one treating many sports injuries or helping people recover from surgeries, mitigate degenerative muscle conditions, and develop at-home exercise routines to help people fully recover from their injuries. 

Specifically, physical therapists deal with injuries. For example, if you fall out of a tree and need physical therapy to help regain your full range of movement in your shoulder, you would generally go to a physical therapist. 

Who goes to physical therapy?

Though they have clients from every walk of life, they have a disproportionate influx of athletes, dancers, and people recovering from accidents and surgeries. The focus of the physical therapist is getting your body back to the state it was in before; active and healthy.

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is also concerned with improving the physical health of their patients, but they often focus on different clients and different therapies. Rather than only focusing on the healing of the body, they usually double as psychologists, helping their clients both physically and mentally. 

Realistically, the types of injuries that they deal with are also different. If you have a degenerative memory or brain disease and find yourself unable to do specific everyday tasks, an occupational therapist will often get to the core of the problem. They can help develop therapies that either mitigate the thing that you are no longer able to do or recommend physical aids like wheelchairs to help you do the things that you want to do in life. 

Who goes to Occupational Therapy?

People who go to occupational therapy often have issues that will never disappear and impede their everyday lives. Whether it is something small, like carpal tunnel, or a disease like Parkinson’s, occupational therapists focus more on finding alternative solutions to help their clients live normal lives despite their physical issues. 

How do I choose between occupational therapy vs. physical therapy?

There are a few things to consider when deciding between occupational and physical therapy

1: What has my doctor recommended?

First and foremost, you should follow the recommendation of your doctor. As the person most familiar with your injury, they should know what is most needed for your type of injury. 

2: What kind of injury do I have?

Sometimes, though, we decide to go to physical or occupational therapy on our own. Perhaps the injury happened a long time ago and flared up again, or it was something you got treated in the ER. In this case, a simple review of your injury will suffice. Is it an injury that will easily heal, or one that will last over time? For example, many sports injuries are more easily treated by a physical therapist. 

Torn rotator cuffs and even severed Achilles’ heel recoveries are things that physical therapists specialize in. However, if you have an injury that is recurring, or degenerative, an occupational therapist might be right for you. If you suffer from memory problems, or finger tendon injuries that will likely never heal completely, you might need more behavioral assistance and therapy than physical.

3: What if it’s not so clear-cut?

Sometimes things aren’t so black and white. What if you are elderly and are recovering from hip surgery? Your hip might never be normal again, but it is clearly a physical injury that you should recover from. What if you are paralyzed at some level, but are doing therapy with the goal of a full recovery? 

Realistically, physical, and occupational therapy have a lot of overlap. There are a lot of grey areas where either therapist would do a great job, albeit with alternative methods. In these cases, it’s worth thinking about doing both for a little while, then sticking with the one you feel is doing the most good for you. 

Occupational Therapy vs. Physical Therapy in Cutler Bay

Occupational Therapy vs. Physical Therapy in Cutler BaySpecifically, occupational therapy and physical therapy have quite a bit in common. Both aim to help their patients recover as much as possible and regain as much physical and emotional normality as possible. However, physical therapy is somewhat more general than specialized occupational therapy and is the right choice for many.

If you are looking to reduce your pain by using or surrounding areas, don’t hesitate to contact us at Progressive Physical Therapy Center, where we can provide you with the most excellent physical therapy we can manage!