Occupational therapy (OT) is the use of assessment and treatment to develop, recover, or maintain the daily living and work skills of people with a physical, mental, or cognitive disorder. Occupational therapists also focus much of their work on identifying and eliminating environmental barriers to independence and participation in daily activities.
Occupational therapists work with clients of all ages, ranging from infants to the elderly. Occupational therapy interventions focus on adapting the environment, modifying the task, teaching the skill, and educating the client/family in order to increase participation in and performance of daily activities, particularly those that are meaningful to the client. Occupational therapists often work closely with professionals in physical therapy, speech therapy, nursing, social work, and the community.
This month it’s Occupational Therapy Month. Since 1980, the American Occupational Therapy Association has dedicated the month of April to increasing awareness and support for the application of occupational therapy and the practitioners that bring relief and recovery to patients of all ages who benefit from learning therapeutic uses of everyday activities.
Nearly one-third of occupational therapy practitioners work with older adults. They perform many types of activities, employing many types of therapies, with the overriding goal of helping older adults regain or maintain a level of independence. Occupational therapy has been proven effective for people living with various medical conditions or recovering from surgery. In addition to working with individuals to increase strength or regain important life supporting skills, occupational therapists work throughout a community, counseling families, local governments, and community groups to ensure that each is doing what it can to help people maintain their independence.
OT helps people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities to overcome their obstacles and to deal with their pain. Here are five things OT can do to help someone to alleviate their daily chronic pain:
- Develop and practice a lifestyle based on wellness, which includes plenty of rest, exercise, healthy nutrition, and maintaining a positive attitude.
- Practice techniques to decrease the intensity of pain.
- Organize a daily routine with personal pain management goals, such as eliminating or modifying activities that use a lot of energy and implementing body mechanics that move the body in ways that are less likely to aggravate pain.
- Exercise to increase strength and flexibility and reduce pain.
- Practice relaxation techniques that calm the mind and reduce tensions that aggravate pain.
The more you know about your health, the better you’ll feel. At Good Days, we’re dedicated to helping people achieve a healthier and happier life. Helping people live good days, every day. That’s Good Days.
Sources: Occupational therapy
A consumer’s guide to occupational therapy