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The Difference between Physical Therapy & Occupational Therapy

The Difference between Physical Therapy & Occupational Therapy

Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists are often hard to differentiate between. Both kinds of therapist’s have primary goals to address or prevent the deterioration of physical function of their patient.  

The main difference between PT and OTs is that the primary goal for physical therapists is to work to better the patient’s motor function while occupational therapists work more specifically on the patient’s fine motor skills. PTs are trained in how motion and exercise affect the body and tend to focus on range of motion, balance, and strength and how it relates to body movement. OTs on the other hand focus on helping people perform activities such as working on everyday activities such as, self-help, independent living, hygiene, and other simple daily functions.

Regardless of the said differences, both therapists’ tend to venture towards the other’s spectrum of treatment.

Difficulties Finding Outpatient OT Care

One area of concern when seeking OT; it is very hard to find a place that has outpatient occupational therapy. Most OTs work in an inpatient setting. Many times our Massachusetts physical therapist offices get phone calls from patients searching for an OT to no avail.

For outpatient needs, a patient may be best speaking to a physical therapist to determine if he/she treats the area of injury. In some areas of treatment it is wise to specifically see an OT but speaking to the referring physician and asking if physical therapy can be substituted for occupational therapy may make it easier and quicker to start on the road to recovery.

If you have had a hard time finding outpatient OT, please contact us so we can determine if you could benefit from physical therapy. We have office locations in Framingham, Norwood, and Foxboro, MA.

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