How can Occupational Therapy improve functionality?

Thursday, April 04, 2019
How can Occupational Therapy improve functionality?

Occupational Therapy (OT) and hand therapy are specialized areas of therapy that focuses on helping people of all ages improve or recover the skills necessary to complete their daily activities or “occupations”. These occupations include self cares, career and productive tasks, and social/leisure skills. Whether you are recovering after an injury or surgery, or you are experiencing issues due to a disease or degenerative condition, OT can help you reach the goals that are important to your health and quality of life.   Occupational therapists have the knowledge to understand progressive conditions and life changes.  We provide treatment for a wide variety of conditions, such as:

  • Fractures or dislocations
  • Amputations
  • Tendon injuries
  • Nerve injuries
  • Tendonitis
  • Burns
  • Arthritis
  • Cumulative trauma/repetitive sprain

Following a comprehensive evaluation, a treatment plan is implemented to help restore proper function to a specific area of the body.   The treatment plan is beneficial in rebuilding strength, increasing range of motion, improving flexibility, enhancing balance and coordination, strengthening fine motor and dexterity skills, restoring independence, decreasing pain levels, and developing adaptive skills.  

  Treatment options include:

  • The fabrication of a custom splint for joint protection and improved function
  • Joint mobilization and exercise to improve range of motion
  • Joint protection and ergonomic strategies to prevent further injury
  • Pain and swelling management
  • Manual therapy
  • Wound and scar tissue management
  • Physical exercise and strengthening to improve overall upper extremity function
  • Use of thermal and electrical modalities
  • Recommendation and instruction for adaptive equipment at home or work

The focus of OT is to help your injury heal properly and improve your range of motion, strength, and overall quality of life. During the duration of treatment, documentation is completed on your progress, reassessments, and modifications of the treatments when necessary.   As occupational therapists, we work closely with your healthcare provider or surgeon to ensure receiving great quality care.   An occupational therapist with the right training geared to your specific condition can help you return to your optimal functional abilities, and maximize your level of independence and quality of life.

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Occupational Therapy Michelle Stark

Written by Michelle Stark, Occupational Therapist
Last modified on Thursday, April 04, 2019