Occupational Therapy Q & A
What is occupational therapy?
Occupational therapy is a healthcare field that addresses individuals' function in everyday activities and occupations including Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs), Education, Work, Leisure, Play, Sleep/Rest, and Social Participation. Often, individuals receiving occupational therapy are recovering from an injury, an illness, or a condition and are having difficulty with independence in their previous occupations (rehabilitative). Sometimes, individuals receiving occupational therapy services are those with developmental conditions that may never have had independence in an occupation previously, but OT can help them learn independence in a variety of occupations (habilitative). Occupational therapists treat a variety of conditions including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury, Multiple Sclerosis, Upper Extremity injuries, Sensory Processing Disorder, Anxiety/Trauma, or Post-Operative Conditions. Occupational therapists address range of motion, sensory integration, core strength, fine motor and gross motor strength and coordination, visual perception, hand-eye coordination, edema, lymphedema, pain management, eating and feeding difficulties, handwriting, and overall function and independence in all occupations.
How does occupational therapy help manage pain?
Occupational therapists address pain in a variety of ways including identifying the source of pain and providing a treatment plan to decrease this pain, education on activity modifications or adaptations, modalities including heat, paraffin, ice, ultrasound, infrared laser, electric stimulation, contrast baths to decrease inflammation and pain, custom thermoplastic splinting to allow for rested position or improved range of motion, edema management, diaphragmatic breathing, and hands on therapeutic massage. Occupational therapists are typically one healthcare profession on an interdisciplinary team to address pain. OTs provide interventions to address improving function and independence in occupations including Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs), Education, Work, Leisure, Play, Sleep/Rest, and Social Participation.
How many OT sessions will I need?
The number of sessions you need will be an entirely individual and personalized amount. This depends on your injury or condition, your recovery and progress, and how closely you follow your treatment plan both in the clinic and at home. On average, our patients see us approximately 1-3 times per week for about 4-12 weeks. Once you are evaluated, the OT will be able to provide a more approximate number based on your specific needs.