Occupational therapy assists people throughout the lifespan to participate in every day activities in order to lead a more independent lifestyle. Therapists work with patients to restore function and develop skills after an upper body injury or medical trauma/disorder. If needed, patients are taught ways to compensate by learning new, adapted techniques and using assistive equipment such as self care aides, splints, and wheelchairs. Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants work closely with patients and their families or caregivers to achieve the ultimate goal of optimizing independence with treatment and education.
Occupational therapy services include:
- A comprehensive, individualized evaluation to determine impairments and establish a patient’s goals
- Customized treatments to improve the patient’s abilities in order to achieve goals
- Patient and Family education throughout the episode of care to optimize independence and safety as well as a maintenance program to continue once occupational therapy services conclude.
Occupational therapy can address impairments related to a variety of impairments including:
- Upper-Extremity Injuries – fracture, sprain, tendon injury, nerve injury, tendonitis, etc.
- Neurological Impairments – stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s, spinal cord injury, etc.
- Lymphedema (swelling)
- Cognitive Impairments
- A general decline in ability to care for one’s self (grooming, dressing, bathing, medication management, etc.)
- Work-related injuries
Occupational Therapy Treatments May Include:
- Modalities such as heat, ice, paraffin, or ultrasound
- Manual therapies such as massage or stretching to reduce pain or swelling and to improve motion
- Strengthening exercises/Home Exercise Program development
- Upper Extremity Coordination
- Cognitive re-education
- Sensory re-education
- Activities of Daily Living (ADL) training for grooming, dressing, meal preparation, etc.
- Adaptive equipment recommendations and training
- Home Evaluation
- Worksite Evaluation and Modification
- Splint Fabrication and Modification