Conditions We Treat
Occupational therapists (OTs) in orthopedics treat conditions pertaining to the upper quadrant of the body, including cervico-thoracic (spinal) conditions and shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand and finger conditions using a variety of approaches, such as:
- Joint and soft tissue mobilization
- Neuromuscular re-education
- Thermal modalities (moist heat, paraffin dip, diathermy) and cryotherapy
- Electrical stimulation, ultrasound
- Customized orthotics
- Patient education with proper body mechanics, joint protection techniques and postural correction
How Does Occupational Therapy Differ from Physical Therapy?
The easiest way to describe the difference between physical therapy and occupational therapy is that a physical therapist treats the patient’s actual impairment, while an occupational therapist (OT) concentrates on optimizing functions in a patient’s daily activities. This treatment helps patients do things that are important and meaningful to them, such as eating, dressing, school activities and work. The occupational therapist provides assistance by evaluating and making changes in any of the things that may limit an individual’s ability to do those tasks, including the environment, the task, or the person’s skills needed for the task.