Occupational Therapy

What is difference between OT and PT?

The difference in this setting is the theories and education. In practice, an OT can give the same treatment (for upper extremities only...shoulder to hand) as a PT. Typically, both practitioners are Certified Hand Therapists, or working towards their certification if only treating upper extremities. An OT hand therapist, given their diverse educational background, is more likely to evaluate extended aspects of the patient including their daily activities, psycho-social/cognitive, sensory, and other physical impairments; while the PT hand therapist, given their education, focuses on movement and strength and will evaluate mostly the physical aspect of impairment.

American Academy of OT vs PT

Occupational Therapy: the practice of occupational therapy means the therapeutic use of occupations, including everyday life activities with individuals, groups, populations, or organizations to support participation, performance, and function in roles and situations in home, school, workplace, community, and other settings. Occupational therapy services are provided for habilitation, rehabilitation, and the promotion of health and wellness to those who have or are at risk for developing an illness, injury, disease, disorder, condition, impairment, disability, activity limitation, or participation restriction. Occupational therapy addresses the physical, cognitive, psychosocial, sensory-perceptual, and other aspects of performance in a variety of contexts and environments to support engagement in occupations that affect physical and mental health, well-being, and quality of life.

Physical Therapy: also known as physiotherapy, is a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialty that, by using mechanical force and movements, remediates impairments and promotes mobility, function, and quality of life through examination, diagnosis, prognosis, and physical intervention.

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