Physical Therapy vs. Occupational Therapy: What’s The Difference?

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A young physiotherapist exercising with senior patient in a physic room

As you care for your aging loved ones, it’s important to ensure they receive the right treatment for their needs and health conditions. Certain forms of therapy, including physical and occupational therapy, can help senior adults improve their well-being, ensuring physical conditions don’t worsen, and providing them with the best possible quality of life. 

At USA Healthcare, we provide a rehabilitation center that offers both occupational therapy and physical therapy. While there are certain similarities between these two types of support, there are also distinct differences that you should be aware of. 


Why Would You Need Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy is based on improved movement as well as mobility and function. This can be achieved through a wide range of exercises and physical activities, including options such as:

Usually, you will require physical therapy if you have a disability impacting your life or a physical injury. However, you may also need this therapy or rehabilitation to supplement another form of treatment, such as surgery. Physical therapy can help ensure that you regain full movement or functions. Alternatively, it can also help reduce issues with stiffness and pain in some patients. 


Why Would You Need Occupational Therapy?

A skilled nurse at a physical rehab center or a similar medical practice will complete occupational therapy or OT. Occupational therapy focuses on ensuring individuals can complete day-to-day tasks far more easily. This can be achieved by improving gross or fine motor skills. An occupational therapist may also focus on how your home or work environment can be adapted to ensure that it provides the benefits you need in your everyday life. 

There are many situations where you could benefit from the support of an occupational therapist. For instance, if an individual has recently suffered from a stroke, then it is vital to work to retrain their brain and help them relearn the ability to complete critical tasks. This could include:

  • Dressing
  • Eating using utensils
  • Preparing food
  • Washing themselves

As mentioned, an occupational therapist may also focus on adapting the environment by adding grab bars or handles where necessary. 


Find Senior Living Support at USA Healthcare

Join the USA Healthcare family to experience quality care, therapy options, and consistent support. With many USA Healthcare facilities throughout Alabama to choose from, senior adults can maintain independence and improve their quality of life. 

At USA Healthcare, we are here to help you and your loved ones regain their independence and achieve their goals for rehabilitation.

Contact us to schedule an appointment today to learn more about assisted living and nursing care!