While the two are often confused, explore the differences and similarities between an occupational therapist vs physical therapist.

Occupational Therapist vs Physical Therapist: What’s the Difference?

If you or a loved one is seeking rehabilitative care you’ve probably heard of physical therapy and occupational therapy. But which one is right for your situation?

This article reviews the similarities and differences between occupational therapy vs physical therapy. It will also discuss the differences between a career as an occupational therapist vs physical therapist.

So whether you are looking for services or looking to adopt a new career, this information will be helpful!

What Is a Physical Therapist?

Physical therapists specialize in the movement of the human body. Their goal is to prevent, treat, or manage injuries, illnesses, and conditions that affect a normal range of motion. A physical therapist may use a combination of manual therapy, therapy tools, and exercises to treat patients.

A physical therapist may help a young athlete recover from an injury or help an older adult after knee surgery. People often seek care from a physical therapist when they are having trouble moving freely or without pain.

What Is an Occupational Therapist?

An occupational therapist helps patients perform activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, chores, etc.). Occupational therapy focuses on improving a patient’s motor skills so that they can thrive in their environment.

An occupational therapist may help a child with a developmental disorder succeed in the classroom. Or they may help an older adult recovering from a hip replacement live more independently. Occupational therapists use exercises, games, puzzles, and other treatment methods with their patients.

Occupational Therapist vs Physical Therapist

So, what’s the difference between a physical therapist vs occupational therapist? Well, both physical therapy and occupational therapy are forms of rehabilitative care. They can be used with patients of all ages and aim to improve a patient’s quality of life.

While occupational therapy focuses on motor skills, physical therapy focuses on physical mobility. Occupational therapy addresses the whole person while physical therapy tends to focus on one specific area at a time.

How to Become an Occupational Therapist or Physical Therapist

Interested in an occupational therapy career? How about a physical therapy career? For most opportunities, you will need a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and clinical hours. Most bachelors of science programs are 4 years and master’s programs are usually 2 to 3 years.

There are also courses for occupational therapy and physical therapy certifications. You can get LSVT Big certified here

Choosing Between Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy

Physical therapy offers a solution for pain, injuries, and a limited range of motion. Occupational therapy helps teach people new ways to do challenging things in their environment. The best type of therapy is going to depend on the needs of the individual patient.

And if you’re interested in a career in therapy, how do you choose between occupational therapist vs physical therapist? That depends on the type of patients and conditions you want to work with. Both careers can make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients and their families.

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