Occupational vs Physical Therapy - What's the Difference?
OT vs PT
Some say that PT addresses the lower half of the body while OT addresses the upper half. Others say that PT works on gross motor coordination while OT works on fine motor.
Physical therapy focuses on big movements, it's generally true. Their goal is often to restore movement and mobility. They assess the ability to roll in bed, sit up, stand up, walk, maintain balance, etc. They use things like stretching and exercise, manipulations, electrical stimulation, heat, and cold to restore these movements.
Occupational Therapy focuses on restoring function. The idea is to help each person become as independent as they can possibly be. This starts with things like brushing teeth and getting dressed, self feeding, getting in and out of the tub, combing hair, or going to the bathroom. After that it extends to roles, jobs, hobbies, etc. OTs use many of the same mechanisms that PTs use to restore function - it's just the approach and the overall goal that might be different.
Most patients initially say that they want to be able to walk again. I ask them, "When you get to the door, how will you open it?"
- American Physical Therapy Association
"The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is a national professional organization representing more than 71,000 members. Its goal is to foster advancements in physical therapy practice, research, and education."
- The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy
"The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy develops and administers the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) for both physical therapists and physical therapist assistants."
- American Occupational Therapy Association
"The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) is the national professional association established in 1917 to represent the interests and concerns of occupational therapy practitioners and students of occupational therapy and to improve the q
- The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy
"The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT®) is a not-for-profit credentialing agency that provides certification for the occupational therapy profession."
Occupational Therapy Reference Materials
Physical Therapy Reference Materials
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