Sometimes life altering events prevent individuals from participating in the activities of everyday life. Has pain made getting through the workday or spending time with your family difficult? At Tindle and Associates, we work through a process that helps our patients recover and get back to the active process of living their life.
When an individual suffers from pain, injury or illness, he or she has many choices when pursuing help. When these ailments interfere with day-to-day life, individuals often look for treatment from either a physical therapist or therapist. We can advise you on the best plan of recovery so that surgery is only a last resort.
What’s the difference between Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy?
Both physical therapy and occupational therapy work with individuals affected by injury or illness and who have lost function in their lives. Both types of professional have completed extensive education and training to earn their Master’s Degree. They must also pass the national board exam and be licensed in the state they’re practicing.
Let’s start with our focus – occupational therapy. At Tindle and Associates, we take a holistic approach and examine a wide range of factors that might act as a barrier to an active, productive lifestyle. We look at physical, psychological, social, environmental and other factors that could be acting as roadblocks. After these roadblocks have been identified, we create a therapeutic treatment program to help get our patients moving along the road to recovery.
Occupational therapy emphasizes helping patients not only improve their physical needs such as motor coordination and range of motion, but also encourages participation in self-care and independence. This is done so that, after an injury or illness, patients can resume their normal daily living activities. These activities range from something as simple as buttoning a shirt, to something more involved like driving a car.
The main objectives of occupational therapy are:
- Work to eliminate or significantly decrease pain
- Help patients become more functional in their lifestyle and daily activities
- Help individuals determine which behaviors or activities intensify pain
- Introduce a healthy lifestyle that’s based on good habits
Physical therapy, on the other hand, has a more intensive focus. Joint range of motion and muscle strength is the primary concentration. Physical therapists work with patients to develop, maintain, and restore maximum movement to areas of their body that have been hurt by injury. This is done through learning the person’s history, doing a physical examination, and arriving at a diagnosis or treatment plan. The plan usually includes assistance with specific exercises, manual therapy, and even a prescription.
Physical therapists can specialize in a specific clinical area including geriatric, neurological, orthopedic, pediatric, and more.
Here’s an easy way to think about it: While a physical therapist aims to correct an injury or issue, occupational therapists focus on techniques and treatment options that help a patient cope with injury and return to their normal day-to-day activities.
An example: If a patient was injured in a car accident and broke her arm, a physical therapist would help her build the strength needed to move it again. An occupational therapist, on the other hand, would help her rebuild the strength and flexibility needed to move it again, and also help her use it the way they did before it was broken.
How Occupational Therapy Developed
Physical therapy and occupational therapy are sister professions, both of which developed during World War I. At the turn of the century, there was enough medical expertise throughout the world to save a soldier’s life, but he was often sent back home greatly disabled. Over time, this led to a natural need for rehabilitation.
To help soldiers fully recover, the rehabilitation process emerged from two roles – physical therapy and occupational therapy. Physical therapy focused on mobility and helping individuals get from one place to another. Occupational therapy, on the other hand, focused on function – what individuals do on a day-to-day basis like taking care of themselves or working.
With this role delineation came differences in educational programs for each profession. Physical therapy programs focus on anatomy, physiology, and other treatment techniques to treat any injury or illness. The focus is on the physical body, how it works, and what to do if it doesn’t work.
Occupational therapists, on the other hand, study the body through anatomy, physiology, etc., but they also study the mind through psychology and sociology.
How Austin, Texas Supports Occupational Therapy
With occupational therapy, improving you’re day-to-day activities includes more than just the mundane. Austin has excellent opportunities to stay active while being entertained. Whether you are just visiting or a resident “Austinite,” you can find places to go and things to see in Austin every day of the week. As the state capitol of Texas, it is rich in history and a hub for the art scene. Bike enthusiast or not, there’s no denying the naturally scenic landscape makes Austin ideal for accommodating many outdoor activities. Strolling around award-winning parks, picnicking at Lady Bird Lake, and exploring the nightlife on Sixth Street are not to be missed. And thanks to creative types attending the University of Texas, art and music events keep Austin’s calendar full of opportunities to experience the “Live Music Capitol of the World.”