Knowing the difference between physical and occupational therapy can be confusing for patients in the Durham area looking into therapy options. Both methods work to improve movement and functionality, but there are some key differences between the two methods.

Physical Therapy

Most physical therapists focus on specific injuries and work to rebuild muscle groups. Physical therapy is often necessary after surgery or an injury to regain the maximum range of motion in the affected muscles. Physical therapy helps patients improve functions like walking, balancing, bending, or moving from sitting to standing. Physical therapists also help patients with wound and pain management. Physical therapy works primarily with the lower half of a patient's body.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy aids patients with everyday living skills such as eating or dressing through re-teaching skills and educating the patient and family on how to modify the environment. This is especially important for patients who have suffered a stroke. Stroke victims often need help regaining functionality in order to be more independent. In addition to helping patients re-learn activities like tying shoes or using utensils, occupational therapists also help re-teach some fine motor skills. Occupational therapy works primarily with the upper half of a patient's body.

How We Can Help

At the Brian Center Health and Rehab - Durham, our programs combine physical and occupational therapy in order to obtain maximum recovery and independence for our patients. We have inpatient and outpatient therapy options for those in the Durham, NC area that need help regaining mobility or re-learning basic skills.  If you have questions on how physical or occupational therapy could help you or a loved one, give us a call!

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