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This Month We Celebrate Occupational Therapists

With April being National Occupational Therapy Month, it’s the perfect time to provide a short explanation of what occupational therapy is and what Occupational Therapists (OTs) do. In the simplest of terms, Occupational Therapists help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. Common occupational therapy interventions include helping people recovering from injuries or suffering from disabilities regain skills, and providing support for patients with physical and cognitive changes.

Occupational therapy services typically include:

  • a customized evaluation during which the OT and patient/family determine the goals of the patient,
  • customized interventions designed to improve the patient’s ability to perform daily activities and reach their goals, and
  • an ongoing evaluation to ensure that established goals are being met or appropriately changed/progressed

Some of the health conditions that benefit from occupational therapy include:

  • Hand and upper extremity injuries
  • Post-operative rehabilitation of the fingers, hand, wrist and arm
  • Upper extremity amputations
  • Arthritis, particularly involving the hand(s) Work-related injuries including repetitive stress/overuse injuries
  • Benign positional vertigo
  • Training in activities of daily living flowing joint replacement surgery or spine surgery
  • Neurological conditions such as head injury, Multiple Sclerosis, Guillain-Barre, Muscular Dystrophy, etc.
  • Burn trauma
  • Strokes

These amazing people that we refer to as Occupational Therapists provide a vital part in the rehabilitation process. Many times they deliver the critical component in helping individuals regain independence in all facets of their lives. This month we celebrate them!

This post was written by Gary Gray, Physical Therapist and Director of West Texas Therapy.

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