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Occupational Therapy 

Occupational therapy is a medical discipline that promotes the restoration of a patient’s ability to perform routine activities.  
Occupational therapy is a medical discipline focused on treating a range of conditions that affect a patient’s ability to carry out daily activities. Occupational therapists apply a variety of 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 a variety of conditions that affect a patient’s ability to perform regular activities. The following health conditions may lead to an occupational therapy recommendation: 

  • Chronic pain or arthritis 
  • Traumatic brain injury or stroke 
  • Birth defects 
  • Spinal cord injury 
  • Alzheimer’s disease 
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS) 
  • Cerebral palsy 
  • Diabetes 
  • Cancer 
  • Mental health or behavioral issues 
  • Severe injuries or burns 

Occupational therapy is sometimes recommended as a secondary treatment after a more invasive form of treatment such as surgery in order to promote optimized healing and rehabilitation.  

What Does Occupational Therapy Involve? 

During an initial consultation, an occupational therapist will discuss your medical history, assess your needs and come up with a personalized plan to improve your ability to perform certain activities and tasks. This plan will involve specific recommendations and goals, and your occupational therapist may also: 

  • 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 
  • Address behavioral problems, especially in pediatric patients 
  • Build hand-eye coordination  
  • 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 life as best as possible. 

If you have a condition that can be treated with occupational therapy, the specialists at Tampa General Hospital can help. During your first consultation (typically as a patient in the hospital), your occupational therapist will evaluate your strength, range of motion (ROM), ability to complete ADLs and cognitive status and ask you about your current home environment and goals for therapy. This information will assist them in developing a personalized treatment plan to fit your needs. Then, they will work with you on exercises to improve your functional independence, evaluate the need for adaptive equipment and train you in the use of any needed device(s).