April is Occupational Therapy Month!
What is Occupational Therapy and what are its benefits?
Occupational Therapist Mollie Sherman of our Englewood and Hoboken clinics describes Occupational Therapy (OT) as “a form of therapy that encourages rehabilitation through the performance of activities required in daily life.” Occupational Therapists have the unique task of striving to improve their patient’s quality of life by providing rehabilitation services to allow them to better function, despite obstacles such as a disability or injury.
They treat conditions that impact a patient’s ability to partake in everyday activities. This can include getting dressed, eating, bathing, and more. With the help of one of Professional’s Occupational Therapists, patients can function more independently, while also preventing future injury.
What is the difference between a Physical Therapist and an Occupational Therapist?
One easy way Mollie says to differentiate an Occupational Therapist from a Physical Therapist is to think of the phrase “functional independence.” While a physical therapist aims to increase mobility, an Occupational Therapist is focused on improving the patient’s functional independence.
“For example, a patient with arthritis may see a Physical Therapist to help them walk with less pain, improve their muscle strength or restore movement to stiff joints,” Mollie explains “ A Physical Therapist’s role may be to get the patient walking to the kitchen again, but Occupational Therapists consider the patient’s needs once they get into that kitchen. This can include improving their hand range of motion when grasping a measuring cup, suggesting adaptive devices which may increase their ability to prepare a meal, or creating a splint to prevent further joint deformity.”
What conditions does an OT/CHT treat?
At Professional, we see a wide range of upper extremity injuries and assist the patient in returning to their prior level of function. These injuries include:
• Carpal tunnel syndrome
• Cubital tunnel syndrome
• De Quervain’s tenosynovitis
• Lateral Epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
• Medical Epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow)
• Hand, wrist, elbow and humerus fractures
• Mallet fingers
• Trigger fingers
• Post-surgical cases (tendon repairs, carpal tunnel release, joint replacements, etc.)
Professional’s 30+ Hand Therapy clinics, located in NYC, Long Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut, treat all of these conditions and more.
“When I first started seeing Mollie for Occupational Therapy after my wrist surgery, my hand and wrist were so painful, stiff and swollen I had such a hard time with daily activities like getting dressed, driving and cooking. After a few sessions, I saw some really dramatic changes. My pain decreased and my wrist became more flexible. I was able to turn a doorknob without help! I could cut vegetables for my salad and drive again! I am able to cook with a lot more ease and less pain. Mollie eased my fears, addressed all of my concerns and gave me my independence back.” – Phyllis Schreiber
For more info on Occupational Therapy, or to consult with a Hand Therapist, request an appointment at one of our convenient hand and occupational therapy locations.