Occupational therapy is a method of non-surgical, non-pharmacological medical treatment that is focused on restoring normal physical function and the ability to carry out activities of daily living. Occupational therapy is used both as a primary method and a supplementary method for treating a variety of medical and surgical conditions.
Occupational therapists apply various methods to promote a patient’s ability to adapt so that they can continue carrying out necessary tasks at work, school, or home with minimal assistance from others.
What Conditions Can Be Treated With Occupational Therapy?
Specialized occupational therapists can treat various conditions that affect a patient’s ability to perform regular activities. The following health conditions may lead to an occupational therapy recommendation:
- Acute Orthopedic injuries of the Upper extremity, pain, or arthritis
- Neurological Conditions including stroke, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis (MS), traumatic brain injuries, and Parkinson’s disease
- Specialized Conditions including hand surgeries, conditions relating to oncology- post radiation and chemotherapy.
- Pediatric Conditions Including cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and developmental delays
What Does Occupational Therapy Involve?
While the exact form of occupational therapy treatment will vary based on the condition being treated, a patient can generally expect to:
- Have a physical examination and evaluation, including a discussion on pertinent health history
- Undergo physical testing procedures to evaluate functional performance, which includes but are not limited to posture, flexibility, range of motion (ROM), and muscle and joint performance
- Create a personalized plan with specific recommendations and goals to improve your ability to perform certain activities and tasks
- Complete active interventions, including specialized exercises and manual therapy, approaches based on evaluation findings
- Prescribe assistive devices if necessary and train you on how to use them
- Teach you new ways to complete activities that are challenging based on your condition, such as working on a computer, buttoning a shirt, or getting in and out of the shower
- Work on motor skills
How Effective Is Occupational Therapy?
When performed by a trained specialist, occupational therapy can be highly effective for helping patients adapt to performing regular tasks so that they can carry on with their daily lives as best as possible.
Tampa General Hospital has a team of experienced occupational therapists who can aid in treating many conditions using innovative, evidence-based practice. These specialists can evaluate your physical abilities capacity as it pertains to function and work with you to establish achievable goals for therapy before developing an individualized treatment plan that fits your needs.