Physical and Occupational Therapy
What are physical & occupational therapy?
Physical and occupational therapy are meant to help you better manage orthopaedic conditions and injuries by improving your strength, mobility, fitness and quality of life. Sometimes, surgical treatments for orthopaedic conditions, such as total joint replacement or spine surgery, may require physical or occupational therapy to help you recover more quickly and completely after the procedure.
Physical therapy focuses more on your general well-being, while occupational therapy is geared toward your day-to-day life and needs. Physical therapists use exercise, education and hands-on care to address pain, restore function and prevent disability. Occupational therapists focus on making sure you can participate in routine activities at home, work and school.
Before physical & occupational therapy
Orthopaedic conditions and injuries affect the musculoskeletal system, which is made up of your bones, joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles. These conditions include arthritis, bone fractures, dislocations, deformities, tumors, inflammation and more.
Before beginning physical and occupational therapy, specialists will evaluate you to determine the severity of your orthopaedic condition, the goals of treatment and what therapy is required to optimize your outcomes.
During physical & occupational therapy
Physical and occupational therapy can often be used on their own to treat orthopaedic conditions. Sometimes, they are used alongside other treatments or after a surgical procedure to improve outcomes and quicken your recovery.
During physical therapy, you can expect to learn multiple exercises to help extend range of motion, build strength, improve balance, increase stamina and prevent further disability or injury. Physical therapists will walk you through these exercises and guide your recovery. You may also be asked to perform these exercises on your own at home once you have mastered them with your therapist.
Occupational therapists operate much in the same way, but their exercises will focus on specific day-to-day tasks that perform use at home, work or school. Depending on your situation, you may receive physical and occupational therapy at UK Healthcare, home or both.
After physical & occupational therapy
Successful physical and occupational therapy regimens differ from person to person. Therapy can last for days, weeks, months or more depending on the goals of your treatment.
After you stop seeing your physical and/or occupational therapists, you may need to continue exercises at home on an ongoing basis. You can also expect follow-up appointments to track your progress and ensure that you’ve met the goals of therapy.