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occupational and physical therapy

Difference Between Occupational and Physical Therapy

With growing mental and behavioral health concerns facing the aging elderly population, many caregivers are seeking therapeutic assistance to help improve their loved one’s quality of life. Whether it’s occupational or physical, therapy sessions provide a variety of treatment practices intended to heal or relieve pain. Knowing the differences between occupational and physical therapy can help you decide which type of treatment is necessary for you or your loved one.


What is occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy introduces or enhances meaningful activities to promote participation in everyday life. An occupational therapist uses intervention or developmental techniques in order to foster independence and productivity. Particularly for seniors, this could include rehabilitation after hospitalization in order to acclimate back to normal day-to-day activities. This type of therapy is also commonly used at the onset of memory loss. By assessing a patient’s cognitive ability, a therapist can help the patient and family navigate changes in patient’s behavior.


What is physical therapy?

Physical therapy is inherent to its name. This type of therapy helps restore and improve the functionality of the body. Physical therapists use specific techniques to help reduce pain and increase mobility for better strength and balance. Seniors most commonly need physical therapy after a fall or to treat chronic pain. Regular physical therapy sessions can be extremely beneficial to improving flexibility and strength, which can even help prevent falls.  

An easy way to remember the difference between these two types of therapies is to think of it like this: an occupational therapist provides the tools for you to independently improve, while a physical therapist provides hands-on treatment to help your body heal. For seniors facing a physical or cognitive ailment, it’s important to seek holistic treatment that helps them heal their mind, body, and spirit.

If you’re looking for a therapist, then you’ve come to the right place. At Santé, we offer a variety of therapy programs designed to improve pain management and quality of life. Contact us today at (480) 563-2402 to learn more about our services or to book an appointment at one of our transitional rehabilitation centers. Our team of professional therapists is always available to answer your questions and help you choose the right type of treatment for your loved ones.

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