A physical therapist vs. an occupational therapist: How can these two medical pros help you?

During your rehabilitation journey, the best way for you to recover is to be sure that you are following a treatment path that best suits your needs. You may be wondering whether you should turn to a physical therapist or an occupational therapist for help. There are plenty of similarities between the two. But there are distinct differences in the approach they take to rehabilitative care.


What is the difference between a physical therapist and an occupational therapist?

Physical therapists focus on helping patients improve their ability to move their body. People who have become injured, or who suffer from conditions that affect the muscles, bones and joints of the body often have difficulty moving, or experience pain when doing so. A physical therapist’s job is to strengthen a patient’s body and improve their ability to move as they recover.

An occupational therapist will also be able to help their patients to move and grow stronger, but they take a different approach. An occupational therapist will focus on helping their patient to perform day-to-day activities when injury or disability prevents them from doing it on their own. Some physical therapy techniques will often be employed by an occupational therapist, but their end goal will be to help a patient regain their independence.


What techniques do a physical therapist vs. an occupational therapist use?

After an injury, or during treatment of a musculoskeletal condition, there are a number of techniques that a physical therapist will use to treat pain and improve mobility. Some of them include:


An occupational therapist may also make use of these tried and proven techniques for their patients. However, occupational therapy goes beyond addressing musculoskeletal issues.


An occupational therapist will address the patient’s functional needs and implement accommodations that help them go about their daily lives. The patient’s psychological well-being is addressed as well as their physical wellness. This can include:

  • Stress management.
  • Instruction on the use of assistive devices.
  • Assessing the patient’s home, school or work environment.
  • Instruction on performing basic tasks while recovering.


Where can I turn for physical therapy or occupational therapy for my rehabilitation?

Continuum Wellness has the team of people you’ve been searching for. Our offices are staffed with both qualified physical therapists and occupational therapists to cover a wide spectrum of patient needs. We are dedicated to providing comprehensive treatment to help make your rehabilitation quicker, more effective and long-lasting.

At Continuum Wellness, we always begin with an initial assessment to get to know you and your therapy needs before we create a personalized treatment plan.


Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.

For more information, Contact Us Today.

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