Monday, October 1, 2007

Occupational therapy and physiotherapy

Many people don’t understand the difference between the two professions, so when an article such as Occupational therapy is an effective way of improving the daily life of stroke patients
appears, it can raise questions.

Even after I’d graduated from nursing, I wasn’t entirely clear on the difference between the two because I’d had so little exposure to them. It was only when I worked in a school for physically handicapped and/or deaf children that I learned what each did.

The easy explanation is that the physiotherapists focus on getting people moving, working on their gross motor function skills. They help people learn how to walk again, maintain their balance, use walking aids, and as well as helping them with range of motion of the joints. Physiotherapists also work on reducing pain and inflammation of certain types of injuries. Occupational therapists work on the finer motor things that allow people to regain their independence, such as helping you dress yourself, cook, or work, for example. They figure out adaptations to make these possible if adaptations are needed. OTs can work with children, the disabled, or the elderly, as can physiotherapists.

Of course, I won’t/can’t presume to speak for anyone in those two fields so I will keep my explanation at that basic level, but their work does involve a lot more than just what I wrote. Although their clients may be referred to them by medical doctors, the therapists need to assess their clients, make up treatment plans, and then follow through on the, adapting them as needed. They often have to work with families to help with special adaptations, as needed, or to help them learn specific types of exercises and therapies so that treatment can continue at home.

Both are very interesting fields and can lead in many directions.

News for Today:

Women with severe PMS perceive their sleep quality to be poor
Journal SLEEP: disturbed sleep linked to poorer daytime function in older women
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Treating sleep apnea reduces heart attack, stroke risk: study
Cough, cold medicines not for young children: U.S. health officials
Occupational therapy is an effective way of improving the daily life of stroke patients
Only half of hypertensive California adults take blood pressure-lowering drugs
High blood pressure may be due to excess weight in half of overweight adults


Terrie Farley Moran said...

Hi Marijke of the many names!
(I just came over from Crabby/Jamie's blog.)

This is a really great post. as I get older, I am more and more interested in the availability of therapies and such for ailments that I associate with old age. (Not because they are exclusive to old age, but because I don't have them yet, but may get them someday.)

I am comforted by knowing that there is a focus on increasing quality of life for folks regardles of the level of disability.

Thanks for the information. Terrie

Marijke Vroomen-Durning said...

Thanks Terrie. I wish I'd known about Occupational therapy when I was in high school. It may have been a profession I would have considered.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Marijke - I finally got around to checking out your blog and wish I had come sooner! (I must have followed Terrie over from Crabby's!)
Lots of interesting, pertinent information here - thanks! I haven't spent a great deal of time looking around yet, so I'm wondering if you've covered splondylithesis anywhere? I've recently been diagnosed, and was disappointed with the physio I received...any suggestions for self-help?

Anonymous said...

thanks, your explanation is the simplest one iv found so far and made me clear on the difference :)

hoping to pursue OT :D

oh and congrats on the 3rd place :)