What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy is treatment to help people live as independently as possible. Occupational therapists work with people of all ages who, because of illness, injury, developmental delays, or psychological problems, need assistance in learning skills to help them lead independent, productive, and satisfying lives. Occupational therapists use work, self-care, and recreational activities to increase independent function.

UB dressing

Occupational Therapy can include:

- Assistance and training in performing daily activities. Depending on your needs,
these could be:

  • Personal care activities. Two examples are dressing and eating. 
  • Home skills. Some examples are housekeeping, gardening, and cooking. Personal management skills. Two examples are balancing a checkbook and keeping a schedule.
  • Skills important in driving a car or other motor vehicle. Occupational therapy may be involved in the vision, thinking, and judgment skills needed for driving, as well as in finding out whether special adaptations such as hand brakes are needed.

- Physical exercises, to increase good posture and joint motion as well as overall strength and flexibility.

- Instruction in protecting your joints and conserving your energy.

- Evaluation of your daily living needs and assessment of your home and work environments. Including recommendations for changes in those environments that will help you continue your activities.

- Assessment and training in the use of assistive devices. Examples are special key-holders for people who have stiff hands, computer-aided adaptive equipment, and wheelchairs.

- Fitting splints or braces.

- Guidance for family members and caregivers. Examples of the many different conditions and situations in which occupational therapy can help include:

  • Mental and physical impairments a person has had since birth.
  • Recovery and return to work after a work-related injury.
  • Sudden serious health conditions such as a stroke, heart attack, brain injury, or amputation.
  • Chronic (ongoing) conditions, such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • Learning disabilities or developmental disabilities.
  • Mental health or behavioral issues such as Alzheimer's disease, post-traumatic stress, substance abuse, and eating disorders.


Comprehensive Evaluation

After receiving your doctor's order, the Occupational Therapist will complete a Comprehensive Evaluation of your:

  • Range of motion
  • Sensation
  • Skin and/or wound condition         
  • Swelling
  • Strength
  • Coordination
  • Pain
  • Functional postures and body mechanics


Treatment Program

Your Occupational Therapist will develop an unique, individual Treatment Program that may include:

  • Range of motion exercises
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Exercises, massage and or use of modalities to decrease pain and swelling
  • Splinting to support your injury
  • Wound and skin care
  • Workstation assessment/ job site evaluations
  • Functional ergonomics

Treatment will also include education about the cause and anatomy of your injury, and often includes continuation of a home program to continue your progress. Finally, your participation in your treatment will bring about the best result.


Contact us if you feel you may have questions about Occupational Therapy - call 419-566-6451.

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