What’s the difference between Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy? That is a common question people have when starting therapy. This article will attempt to explain the difference. First both a Physical and Occupational Therapist are required to be licensed by the state of Michigan. You can verify a license using the state of Michigan website https://w2.lara.state.mi.us/VAL/License/Search.
The American Occupational Therapy Association describes Occupational Therapy as “In its simplest terms, occupational therapists help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy services may include comprehensive evaluations of the client’s home and other environments (e.g., workplace, school), recommendations for adaptive equipment and training in its use, and guidance and education for family members and caregivers. Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team.”
Some therapy clinics refer to Occupational Therapist as the therapist that works on the shoulder, elbow and hand. In the home setting common problems Occupational Therapy works on addressing issues to manage daily activities such as dressing, bathing, cooking.
The American Physical Therapy Association describes Physical Therapy as “Licensed health care professionals who help patients improve or restore mobility, and in many cases helping patients reduce pain, and avoid the need for surgery and the long-term use of prescription medications and their side effects. Physical therapists examine, evaluate, and treat patients whose conditions limit their ability to move and function in daily life. Your physical therapist's overall goal is to maintain, restore, or improve your mobility and help reduce your pain.”
In the home setting common problems Physical Therapy works on addressing are home safety. This includes fall prevention, safety recommendations, equipment recommendations, balance improvement. In addition to these safety issues home physical therapy also treats common musculoskeletal problems like limited shoulder movement/pain, low back pain, neck pain, joint replacement therapy.
Tim Batt, PT
This is a new addition to the website. This first blog is planned to discuss the benefits of receiving physical/occupational therapy in the home. In upcoming editions I plan to discuss the difference between physical and occupational therapy and other issues that need to be discussed.
First, if you receive a referral for physical/occupational therapy you have a choice of which company to work with. Your physician may encourage you to choose one provider but ultimately you have the final decision. Some considerations for choosing a therapist may include insurance coverage, location, experience, and specialty.
I am going to focus on location and specialty. People often think of physical/occupational therapy as a clinic or a building. For most people this is all they are familiar with. However, in addition to this you may receive therapy in the home. For many people this is more convenient. Receiving therapy in the home maybe more appropriate for someone that has transportation issues, young children that you can’t find childcare for or if the issue you are having may be more functional to treat in the home. This may include safety issues with showering, difficulty with dressing, etc.
For most insurances they do cover therapy provided in the home. For instance Medicare has 2 benefit levels: Medicare A and Medicare B. The Medicare A benefit covers therapy in the home, but an individual must meet strict guidelines. For Medicare B, this is the benefit that covers therapy at a clinic. This is also the benefit that covers In Home Therapy of Grand Rapids providing your therapy in the home. Under the Medicare B benefit the strict guidelines of Medicare A are not required.
For the second part experience/specialty. When selecting a therapist to treat your problem, look for someone with experience treating the problem. The therapists at In Home Therapy of Grand Rapids specialize in providing therapy in the home and each one has over 14 years of experience treating clients in their home. This experience can help discover problems that aren’t easily identified without experience. For instance, with home safety having years of experience can identify equipment needs to make the home safer or make the task easier. Some other areas that are addressed can be home safety, use of night lights, having clear pathways to walk. Providing therapy in the home is also beneficial on addressing problems in the real environment rather than in a clinic trying to simulate your bed or your stairs.
If you have any questions feel free to email or call to discuss your situation.
Tim Batt, PT