Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy, much like physical therapy, is designed to give individuals skilled treatment that can facilitate greater independence and the highest quality of life. In addition to focusing on one’s physical well being, occupational therapy also addresses a patient’s social and psychological health and their environment. 

Differences Between Physical and Occupational Therapy

While physical and occupational therapy are similar, the former focuses more on issues like pain, strength, endurance and gross motor functions. The latter deals more with fine motor skills, sensory processing, visual-perceptual skills, and cognitive abilities.  Often, physical and occupational therapy are complementary methods of improving one’s quality of life in the event of an injury or illness. 

Who can Benefit from Occupational Therapy?

Many individuals of all ages can benefit from occupational therapy. Children with birth injuries, developmental delays or disorders, learning problems, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, and other conditions can often benefit greatly from occupational therapy. 

People of any age who have traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries, arthritis, post-surgical conditions, broken bones or other physical injuries, burns, cancer, amputations, behavioral or mental health problems, work related injuries, and many other injuries or illnesses can benefit from occupational therapy. 


Occupational therapy offers patients a customized treatment plan, an evaluation of the home and workplace with adaptation recommendations, skills assessment and treatment, adaptive equipment, education, and support. Adaptive equipment can include dressing devices, wheelchairs, walkers, splints, bathing seats, and similar aids.

Occupational therapy can improve a patient’s ability to complete self-care tasks, such as bathing, dressing, and eating, with greater independence. Individuals with behavioral problems and psychological conditions can learn to manage their emotions and develop positive coping mechanisms. 

Occupational Therapists

Occupational therapy is often practiced in hospitals, schools, rehabilitation centers, children’s clinics, private homes, private facilities, and mental health centers. Occupational therapists receive rigorous academic and specialized training to practice occupational therapy.

An occupational therapist must receive four years of academic or professional training and pass a national certification exam. Many states also require occupational therapy practitioners to complete on-going education courses in their field.  As of 2007, the American Occupational Therapy Association will require all therapists to complete a master’s program in the field. 

Contact an Experienced Attorney

If you or a loved one has a serious injury, or is recovering from a serious injury or illness, you may wish to speak with your primary physician or other medical professional about occupational therapy. Occupational therapy is often one element of a comprehensive treatment program designed to improve a patient’s functioning in all aspects of life. 

If you would like to learn more about occupational therapy after an injury or accident, please contact us to speak with a qualified and experienced attorney in your area. 

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