Differences Between Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Vocational Therapy
Physical therapy is a form of prolonged treatment designed to address mobility and functionality issues throughout the body. Whether your symptoms arise from pain or injury, a physical therapist takes the time to diagnose the cause and develop a customized series of exercises, sometimes involving various tools, that are designed to restore maximum possible mobility.
Physical therapy is most commonly beneficial in cases of stroke, sports injuries, spinal injuries, amputations, or any other injury that has significantly impaired the use of your extremities. If you need physical therapy, expect to work closely with your therapist. Your needs will be evaluated closely, and you will be given a series of exercises and stretches that increase in intensity as your body becomes stronger and stronger.
Patients who seek physical therapy experience a faster recovery time, a lower rate of repeated-injury, and a decreased likelihood to require medication. The goal of physical therapy is to rehabilitate the body to the highest extent possible.
While occupational therapy also addresses the limitations placed on the body due to pain or injury, a big part of this form of therapy is meant to overcome cognitive and behavioral limitations and involves a focus on holistic wellness. During occupational therapy, your symptoms will be evaluated carefully by a qualified professional to determine the care required. You will then begin a treatment plan centered on meaningful activities designed to help you adjust your environment to your needs. Your therapist might address education, work, social interactions, or even basic self-care skills.
Occupational therapy can benefit all ages of patients, whether your child requires help socializing, you’re finding it difficult to adapt after an injury, or you or a loved one are suffering the physical or mental effects of aging. An occupational therapist is trained to diagnose and treat physical, mental, and cognitive limitations while moving you closer to your goals for a meaningful life.
Patients who engage in occupational therapy experience an increase in overall well-being. Because the therapy engages you in activities, you essentially practice the life you want to lead, making achieving your goals easier with every session. Occupational therapists can also literally meet you where you are, tending to your therapy needs in your home or school.
Vocational therapy is often used alongside occupational therapy and physical therapy to help you return to work after an injury or in the presence of a disability. Special focus is placed on evaluating your abilities to match you with a job or career that will allow you to thrive. A vocational therapist will focus on what you can do instead of what’s holding you back. You will receive resources and coaching to help you get back into the job market, land interviews, and gain long-term employment.
Those suffering from traumatic brain injuries, stroke, amputations, physical deformity, and cognitive disabilities have the best experience with vocational therapy. Each patient’s individual abilities under their unique circumstances are carefully considered throughout the course of treatment.
Vocational therapy is truly beneficial because it addresses a side of recovery that can mean the most to you when you’re suffering from a traumatic injury or illness: being able to return to and thrive in the workforce.
If you or a loved one are suffering from an injury or disability that makes it difficult to thrive in your environment, contact the experts at Advantage Healthcare Systems. Our medical professionals will work with you to create a therapy plan that addresses your unique needs.