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Now that you’ve read Part I and know some of the major differences between occupational and physical therapy, we’ll look at seven undeniable benefits of occupational therapy.

  1. Improves gross and fine motor skills

Gross motor skills use large muscles that help people walk, jump, crawl, and throw, to name a few. Fine motor skills involve smaller muscles in the hands and fingers, and these skills are important for tasks such as using utensils, brushing teeth, buttoning and zippering clothes, and more. While OTs work on gross motor skills to improve stability and balance, they strive to improve a patient’s fine motor skills to help with everyday tasks.

  1. Helps provide independence in daily life

Routine activities that we take for granted are the ones we miss the most when we’re unable to perform them. But those are precisely the tasks that occupational therapists seek to restore. Asking for help isn’t easy, nor is it something most people enjoy doing. Most people want nothing more than to be able to perform day-to-day tasks on their own, activities like dressing, grooming, and eating. OT helps each individual get to the point where they’re able to take on these everyday routines by themselves, giving them the sense of independence they seek.

  1. Increases strength and range of motion

Especially for the elderly and those recovering from surgery or an injury, range of motion tends to be limited, which can hinder movement and cause discomfort. OT can work on patients’ joints to help restore greater range of motion, which enables a patient to more comfortably perform day-to-day tasks.

  1. Improves visual and cognitive skills

After a stroke or brain injury, a person’s vision may become impaired, which can greatly affect the ability to see, read, walk, and drive. Occupational therapy can actually teach certain techniques, such as pre-reading and scanning strategies to help improve visual performance. Additionally, OTs can work on functional cognition skills such as organization, problem-solving, and reasoning so the patient can use a computer, follow a daily or weekly schedule, and eventually return to work.

  1. Helps train caregivers

An underrated benefit of occupational therapy is the ability of the occupational therapist to help train caregivers to understand a patient’s condition better and care for them. An OT will review the patient’s disabilities and limitations and how the caregiver can best handle them at home.

  1. Offers safety assessments of your home

When a patient is dealing with a disability, injury, or condition, that patient’s home–or wherever he or she will be recovering–must be easy to navigate, clear of obstructions, and generally a comfortable and safe space. Occupational therapists will perform a home assessment to ensure the dwelling is safe, properly lit, easy to get around, and set up with whatever equipment is necessary for the patient.

  1. Encourages social inclusion

When an individual is used to functioning at a certain level and is suddenly unable to, that person’s mental health often suffers as a result. Occupational support goes a long way toward helping an individual recover mentally from the struggles and lack of confidence that arose due to the inability to perform basic tasks and functions. OTs can aid a patient by helping to increase their confidence, reintroducing them to social situations, and getting them ready to take on more responsibility.

Physical Therapy NOW in Irving Provides OT

At Physical Therapy NOW in Irving, our licensed Occupational Therapists–through activity analysis–can address each client’s priorities, along with his or her pathologies, with activity modifications and compensatory techniques to facilitate performing at his or her greatest level of independence. Occupational therapy at Physical Therapy NOW is designed to meet individual client’s needs and may include some of the following techniques as part of a comprehensive plan of care:

As you can see, our OTs cover all the bases for helping our clients regain their day-to-day activities and independence. If you or a loved one needs occupational therapy or would like an evaluation to determine whether OT is needed, please give us a call today at (214) 225-0291 to schedule an appointment.


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