• Rick Sheninger

General Overview of Occupational Therapy

Understanding Occupational Therapy

General Overview of Occupational Therapy

An overwhelming majority of people experience challenges adapting to their normal life after a major injury or illness. Doctors may recommend physical therapy for physical intervention and health promotion. Although we cannot ignore physical therapy in the healing process, OT is unique since it is the only therapy whose primary focus is to enhance particular self-care skills such as eating, dressing, eating, and more.

OT is a general approach to health care treatment that focuses on the affected person's well-being and quality of life via everyday occupations' therapeutic use. OT helps people with physical, developmental, or emotional disabilities to lead a more satisfying and independent life.

Just like any treatment planning, OT aims at helping patients:

• Restore their strength and range of motion.

• Improve their cognitive ability.

• Develop self-care and fine motor skills.

• Enhance their attention and memory.

• Develop executive functioning.

• Improve their social interaction skills and more.

Some Conditions Treated by OT

• Neurological Problem: It deals with challenges affecting the nervous system. Most of the neurological challenges, such as cerebral palsy, emanates from birth; others are genetic, and others such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and multiple sclerosis areas result from an illness. People who have suffered from neurological problems will adjust greatly to their lifestyles due to the impact of the condition on their physical abilities. OT will treat such problems and help the patient adapt to a normal lifestyle.

• Neurodevelopmental: The disorder changes the brain's functioning, affecting how a child behaves, memory, or the ability to learn. In such cases, OT is done for the rehabilitation of children with neurodevelopmental disorders such as cerebral palsy or autism spectrum disorder.

• Musculoskeletal: The system offers support, form, stability, and general body locomotion. Patients who have suffered from musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia may find it hard to adjust to a normal lifestyle. Occupational therapists have particular value in evaluating, considering, and offering the comprehensive intervention to assist patients in going back to their daily occupations.

• Sensory Disorder: This is a condition that interferes with how your brain processes sensory information. Occupation therapy engages patients in physical activities built to regulate their sensory input, enhance their comfortability, and improve their focus.

• Mental and behavioral Disorder: It entails patterns of psychological symptoms that affect multiple areas of life. The disorder causes significant distress such as depression and anxiety disorder to the person affected. OT is beneficial in managing symptoms of psychiatric disorders and complimenting psychotherapy treatments.

Benefits of Occupational Therapy

OT is beneficial to all people regardless of age in promoting an individual's well-being and quality of life. For instance, children with autism need to improve fine motor and gross motor skills. It helps teenagers with challenges focusing in school or completing tasks and adults and older adults experiencing anxiety and depression or suffering from stroke and other complications. Some of the benefits of OT include:

1. Strength Building and Reduction of Pain

Improper body positioning leads to an upsurge in pain. For instance, patients experiencing muscle pains may engage in activities that will compensate for the pain experienced, such as lifting the shoulder to keep the arm closer to the body in order to minimize the pain. Such compensatory techniques may result in muscle imbalance leading to more pain.

However, occupation therapy enables patients to learn more about proper body positioning to curb increased pain risk. Occupational therapists may lead you to controlled exercises and stretching techniques to help you improve weak joint movement and minimize pain.

2. Occupational Therapy Addresses Cognition in Relation to Functional Necessity

A person may experience challenges depending on people to perform daily activities. An occupational therapist's greatest job is to develop a person's capacity to perform activities or skills independently. With OT, a patient will naturally focus on skills or do activities that would have required people's attention independently.

3. Enhances Visual Skills

People who suffered a brain injury or stroke have high chances of developing an eye disease, creating blind spots in the field of vision. Vision interference can restrain a person's ability to walk confidently on-road or read. OT is an ultimate approach to teaching adaptive techniques such as pre-reading strategies to help develop the overall reading experience.

4. Enhance Range of Motion

A body range of motion may decrease after a surgery or illness such as arthritis or stroke. OT helps improve the passive range of motion by stimulating the performance of body parts to enhance the active assistive range of motion.

People experiencing loss of strength, such as a weak shoulder, may look for adaptive strategies such as shrugging their shoulders upward to move the arm closer to the body. Although this can help ease the pain, it is temporary and can lead to a further reduction in strength. OT helps in an active range of motion where an entire joint related-movement is improved, enabling the patient to function with zero physical assistance.

5. OT Enhances Holistic Individual’s Independence

One of the main reasons why people seek OT is to restore their independence. People want to do personal tasks such as bathing, eating, dressing, and other important tasks without assistance. OT is the only treatment planning whose fundamental focus is enhancing self-care skills. An occupational therapist helps a patient recover and provides compensatory techniques to enhance an individual ability to perform these tasks independently.

Desired Outcomes of OT

Occupational therapists will evaluate the desired outcomes and establish the services and support required to attain these results. For instance, if a person has a disability, occupational therapists will develop strategies to enhance a post-acute patient's ability to function normally.

There is no specific treatment during OT since the primary focus is to help the patient be independent. All the affected patients should take OT as a continuous process until the patient gains the necessary skills. OT depends on disability, the rehabilitation process required, and how fast the patient embraces the learned skills.

We hope you find this information useful. We are strong proponents of patient centered care, and our patients have come to rely on us for honest, clear communication, and structured programs that promote positive outcomes. For more information about our therapy services, you can visit our website, We would love to hear from you, whether to help answer your questions, or to discuss how we help our patients recover from injuries or illnesses.

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