Do You Need Physical or Occupational Therapy?
How do you know if you need physical or occupational therapy? If you have recently suffered an accident, or are about to undergo surgery for joint pain relief, chances are your physician has recommended PT or OT to help you return to your active lifestyle. Others who are simply growing older or recovering from shorter illnesses may not realize the benefits of therapy may apply to them.
Physical therapy treats illness and/or injury through physical methods such as massage, aquatic therapy, dry needling, and exercise. Occupational therapy helps people recovering from injury and/or illness to regain specific skills necessary to resume normal activities. Hand rehabilitation and balance training may fall under this category.
That said, it’s not uncommon to experience a minor injury and debate over seeing a doctor for treatment. We may attempt to work through the problems in the hope they correct themselves. It’s important, therefore, to listen to your body and look for signs you may require professional help:
The pain lingers.
The ache you once endured after hurting yourself used to go away after a short period of time, but lately you’re still feeling it. You may not have broken skin, but if you find some pains and injuries are taking longer than is usual for you to heal, it could be a sign to consult with a physician. The risk of chronic pain like arthritis becomes greater as we grow older, especially if there is a family history.
The old “cures” no longer work.
If you have relied on over the counter pain relievers or heating pads and find they aren’t effective, it could be a sign to advance your treatment. Physical therapy may alleviate your pain in a different manner, with or without the use of meds.
Simple tasks become difficult.
Is it difficult lately to pick up a spoon, or throw a ball? Daily functions like grasping objects or cutting vegetables are easy to take for granted. When the ability to perform such tasks decreases, it may be time to consider occupational therapy to maintain a sense of independence.
It’s a challenge to move.
A decrease in mobility and flexibility may indicate a need to consult with a physical or occupational therapist. If you are recently recovering from an accident, or are having dizzy spells and issues with balance, these signs may signal a need for help.
The board-certified therapists Bon Secours Physical Therapy work with patients on a variety of issues ranging from balance rehabilitation to therapy following a stroke. If your current pain continues despite at-home treatments, it may be time to contact us and learn more about our programs. Contact us today.