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Using Physical and Occupational Therapy to Maintain Independence

Using Physical and Occupational Therapy to Maintain Independence

You don’t have to be recovering from surgery or an injury to benefit from physical and occupational therapy. Working with licensed physical and occupational therapists is also a preventive measure that will improve your strength, promote flexibility, alleviate aches and pains, and promote a healthy and independent lifestyle.

What Is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy is a type of rehabilitative health care where trained therapists create a plan of personalized exercises and use special equipment to help clients maximize mobility, manage pain and chronic conditions, and improve strength and fitness. Physical therapy can be used for preventive, restorative, or pain management purposes.

What Is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is often used together with physical therapy to help clients better complete everyday activities, also called “occupations,” at home and at work, in a way that helps them prevent injury and avoid pain. Occupational therapists also provide advice on adaptive equipment and home safety to help clients not only recover from injuries but also prevent them.

To learn more about the differences between physical and occupational therapy and schedule a consultation, contact our team at (201) 848-5518.

The following are a few ways that outpatient physical and occupational therapy services can help you maintain your independence.

Increasing Strength

Strong muscles are important to ensure a healthy, independent lifestyle. A trained therapist can create a customized plan to identify your problem areas and provide tailored treatment to address them. Performing your exercises regularly, with your therapist and at home as well, can effectively strengthen your muscles and joints, improve your balance, and help you gain endurance.

Improving Mobility

Chronic conditions like arthritis, old injuries, and normal aging can all cause decreased mobility, making it difficult to work, exercise, and complete household tasks. Physical and occupational therapists use a variety of stretching and strengthening exercises to help you maintain and improve your ability to move freely and comfortably, preventing injuries and encouraging you to remain active.

Preventing Falls

Sustaining a fall can cause serious injury, especially in older adults, making it difficult to live independently. Working preventively with a physical or occupational therapist can effectively improve your coordination and balance, which decreases the likelihood of falls and injuries. Physical and occupational therapists may also recommend assistive devices, such as grabbers or a cane, to improve safety in the home and reduce fall risk.

Learning New Ways to Approach Tasks

In addition to improving your mobility, balance, and flexibility, occupational therapy focuses on teaching you new and innovative ways to complete daily tasks that put less strain on your body. Therapists may recommend changes to your routine, show you new ways to reach for items, or suggest alternative ways for you to sit or stand that allow you to shift your weight to your stronger muscles.

Home Modification

Occupational therapists are trained to make helpful suggestions to make your home safer. Simple changes to your home may include rearranging furniture to widen walkways, removing tripping hazards, or reorganizing frequently used household items so that they are easier to reach. Proactively making your home more accessible will help you avoid preventable injuries that could limit your independence.

Outpatient Physical and Occupational Therapy at Christian Health

If you enjoy a vibrant, active lifestyle, it’s essential to keep your body healthy and strong so that you continue to enjoy it for years to come. Our physical and occupational therapy services at Christian Health can help you maintain your independence and lifestyle with our expert care team, innovative approach, and state-of-the-art technology. For more information about Christian Health Outpatient Rehabilitation, please call (201) 848-5518.