Physical therapy and Occupational therapy are two rapidly growing fields that cater to patients who have experienced trauma, or have a disability, and need help to regain their skills. These patients may be debilitated from car accidents, strokes, or need support in performing tasks with a disability.
Physical therapy focuses on reconditioning the body to function properly. There are many tools used for this process including muscle building bands, specially designed exercise equipment, and uniquely created exercise routines. With advised exercises over time, muscles can relearn what they once knew. While complete function may never return after an incident, physical therapy is a healing way to accomplish building your body back up, and helps to encourage other systems of the body to work better also.
Occupational therapy focuses on retraining the connection between the patient's muscles and brain. It helps to prepare patients to accomplish tasks that are necessary for daily living. Some patients may always need help to perform ""everyday tasks"" and there are many items available to assist, categorized as Daily Living Aids. Daily Living Aids can include special dining and drinking aids, dressing aids, and bathing aids.
Occupational therapy also focuses on rejuvenating cognitive ability, which is done through sensory activities. There are many tools used to increase sensory activity and enhance motor skills including activity toys, games, and music. Recreational therapy can also be blended into the occupational therapy field, allowing for sensory activities to be performed in group programs. Since recreational therapy emphasizes fun and leisure, many patients may not even realize that they are performing sensory-related tasks, as they are focused on the enjoyment of the activity.
All therapies are designed to be applied to any age group. While specific exercises or tasks may be better suited for a certain age group, the concept remains the same for all. Therapy allows an individual to regain their independence, and provides them with a physical way to interact with their recovery process. All therapies should only be done under the direction of a licensed therapist, who can work with the patient to create the best rehabilitation plan for them.