Physical therapy and occupational therapy are two distinct therapies that help people with a variety of physical, mental, and emotional disabilities. Physical therapy focuses on helping patients improve their strength, coordination, and mobility, while occupational therapy helps clients to develop, recover, or maintain the skills needed for daily living and working.
Physical therapy is often used to help people recover from injuries, surgeries, or illnesses. It also can be used to help manage chronic conditions such as arthritis, back pain, or stroke. Physical therapists help patients improve their range of motion, strength, and coordination by using a number of treatments, including exercise, massage, and ultrasound.
Occupational therapy, on the other hand, is focused on helping people develop, improve, or maintain skills needed for daily living and working. This can include not only physical skills, such as the ability to do daily chores, but also cognitive and emotional skills, such as the ability to concentrate and manage stress. Occupational therapists use a variety of treatments, such as job coaching, cognitive retraining, and adaptive equipment to help clients reach their goals.