Physical Therapy vs. Occupational Therapy: What is the Difference?

October 2, 2019 | By: Raleigh Orthopaedic Team

The Raleigh Orthopaedic Therapy Services team specializes in treating bone, joint, spine and muscle conditions. The department provides outpatient physical therapy from six locations, as well as occupational therapy from five locations.

Physical Therapy

A physical therapist focuses more on evaluating and treating movement dysfunctions, like pain behind the kneecap or within the foot or ankle. Physical therapy can also aid in strengthening muscles and correcting athletic form, as well as provide injury prevention education.

Raleigh Orthopaedic’s licensed therapists optimize patients’ quality of life through exercise, hands-on care, and education. After making a thorough evaluation, we create personalized treatment plans which provide each patient with an individualized approach. Raleigh Orthopaedic Physical Therapy helps patients improve mobility, manage pain and other chronic conditions, recover from injury, and prevent future injury and chronic disease.

Our patients are active participants in their own treatment, and they work collaboratively with Raleigh Orthopaedic Physical Therapy experts to ensure the best outcomes based on comprehensive care. Our ultimate goal is obtaining superior functional results that allow patients to return to a full life of sports, work, and/or recreation.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy is a science-driven, evidence-based profession that enables people of all ages live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, or disability. This is accomplished through designing strategies for everyday living and customizing environments to develop and maximize potential.

It helps individuals design their lives, develop skills, adjust home, school, or work environments, and build health-promoting habits and routines. Occupational therapy uses everyday activities as the means to enable people to thrive. Occupational therapy works to get beyond disability or limitations, creating ways for individuals to live life to its fullest no matter what.

Raleigh Orthopaedic has occupational therapists who are also board certified hand therapists and create treatment plans for patients with upper extremity injuries. All of our occupational therapists are skilled at custom upper extremity splinting and brace fabrication. Other treatment techniques include:

  • Therapeutic exercise prescription specific to each condition
  • Manual therapy such as soft-tissue and joint mobilization
  • Stretching and strengthening
  • A variety of modalities such as ultrasound and iontophoresis.

The team works with post-operative patients, as well as patients who do not require surgery, but are experiencing pain or injury.

Our goal with each patient is to eliminate or reduce pain and maximize each patient’s functional capabilities to as close to a pre-injury level as possible. Additionally, we educate each patient on continuing the rehab process after they no longer require formal occupational therapy.

Schedule an appointment

Your well-being is important to us. Click the button below or call us to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists. If your injury or condition is recent, you can walk right into one of our Raleigh Orthopaedic Urgent Care locations for immediate care. For rehabilitation and physical therapy, no referral is needed to see one of our physical therapists.