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What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy (OT) is a type of therapy that utilizes the activities a patient wants and needs to do in their daily life to promote a more manageable, pain-free day-to-day. Unlike physical therapy, occupational therapy focuses on the whole patient rather than the injury alone. The primary goal of OT is to give those with physical, mental, or social disabilities the ability to adapt to their surroundings and lead independent, satisfying lives.

Becoming an Occupational Therapist is also a great career choice. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, OT employment is expected to grow by 14 percent from 2021-2031 – faster than the average for all occupations. It's considered a fulfilling, low-stress career with a great work-life balance.

What Does an Occupational Therapist Do?

An occupational therapist will evaluate your needs and come up with ways to change your movements to help you perform tasks at school, work, or home. To do so, they may come to your home, place of work, or school to assess daily activities and the general environment. In addition to therapy, an OT may suggest changes to your environment which may include moving furniture or getting an assistive device such as a cane or grabber.

Who Needs Occupational Therapy?

A doctor may recommend OT for a variety of conditions that can negatively affect performing daily tasks. Those who would benefit from occupational therapy may include:

  • Those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's
  • Stroke patients
  • Neuromuscular disorders
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Mental Health Concerns
  • Chronic pain, muscle, joint or skeletal concerns
  • Developmental disorders

What are the Benefits of Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is designed to benefit patients from birth to senior who struggles to do any kind of task. For seniors, OT can help address numerous areas, as simple as folding laundry or basic multitasking. More complex issues such as memory and coordination loss, medication management strategies, fall prevention, and palliative and oncology care are also major benefits to patients.

In children, one of the most common reasons occupational therapy is used is if they are missing developmental milestones. These delays commonly correlate with the child's sensory system or fine motor skills. It's often difficult at first to notice developmental delays, but if you see a child lacking the ability to learn how to play with toys, feed themselves or dress themselves, they may benefit from occupational therapy. With OT, it's often possible for children to learn to best cope with disabilities or even fully overcome these issues.

If you or someone you love could benefit from occupational therapy, visit our website at to find a clinic near you.

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