Occupational Therapy is an area of rehabilitative medicine that focuses on helping people regain or maintain their ability to perform their usual daily activities as easily and independently as possible, via focusing on the shoulder to the hand. Unlike most Occupational Therapy, ours is located in an Outpatient Clinic. This type of outpatient therapy is often recommended for people who have seen a decline in functional abilities that makes some daily tasks difficult to manage.
People may be referred to Occupational Therapy if they have suffered an injury, illness, or medical event that has led to physical limitations with their upper extremities. People who are living with a chronic health condition that has caused functional deficits, such as arthritis for instance, may also benefit from Occupational Therapy.
The benefits of outpatient occupational therapy will depend on the problem or condition being treated. However, in general, the benefits of outpatient occupational therapy are greater functional ability and independence in daily life, as therapists work to make it easier for patients to manage the things they want and need to do every day.
For example, occupational therapists can:
- Help people regain function in an arm or hand that has been lost or reduced due to stroke or brain injury.
- Teach people new, adaptive ways to get things done, such as bathing, dressing, preparing meals or doing household chores.
- Guide people in developing strategies to compensate for memory problems or other cognitive impairments.
- Educate patients in energy-conserving techniques for completing daily tasks to minimize fatigue and maximize productivity.
- Teach joint protection techniques and uses of adaptive tools to help patients with painful joints function more independently and with less pain.
- Help joint replacement patients learn to use and adapt to their artificial joints.
These are just a few examples of the potential benefits of outpatient occupational therapy.
Occupational Therapy helps people overcome or adapt to permanent/temporary disability. Occupational Therapists work to help their patients learn how to manage everyday tasks in spite of these disabilities, including personal care, household chores, work-related tasks, and social activities. This may involve a number of therapies, tools and techniques, including targeted exercise, education and training, adaptive technologies and tools, and environmental modifications, among others.
The bottom line is this: If doing the things you want or need to do every day has become difficult for you, seeing an Occupational Therapists for evaluation and treatment can help you get back on track and enable you to live your life to the fullest.
To find out how our Occupational Therapy services can help you, contact us here.
And to learn more from the American Occupational Therapy Association, click here for a pdf about the role of Occupational Therapy for upper extremities.