April is National Occupational Therapy Month … that may not mean much to you now, but very likely it will someday in your future. This year’s theme is living life to its fullest! An Occupational Therapist can help with common upper extremity and hand conditions like arthritis, tendonitis, or repetitive strain which could limit you from doing the activities you enjoy.
So what does an Occupational Therapist do?
After assessing your condition in collaboration with your orthopedic physician, we establish a treatment plan to improve flexibility and strength, recommend and fabricate an orthosis to support the joints of the wrist, hand, or fingers to reduce pain/swelling during activities, and educate you on joint protection techniques to reduce wear and tear of the joints during daily activities.
An Occupational Therapist may also help with rehabilitation after traumatic injuries such as fractures and tendon/nerve injuries. Most important, they provide customized, one-on-one care to help you achieve the best outcome.
What training is required to become an Occupational Therapist? More than you think. While master’s and doctoral degree programs are common, some colleges also offer combined bachelor and master’s degrees in occupational therapy. There is a focus on general anatomy, the nervous system, physiology, movement, activity, and trends in rehabilitation techniques. A certification process must also be completed before receiving state licensure.
AOTA (American Occupational Therapy Association) describes an OT visit as:
- Individualized evaluation where patient goals are determined by patient and therapist
- Customized intervention to improve ability to return to daily activity
- Outcome evaluation to ensure goals are met, or, changes are made to the plan
If you have a physical condition keeping you from living life to its fullest, the Occupational Therapists at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates can help. For an appointment, call 941.951.BONE or schedule through our website at www.SOA.md. We have locations in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, and Venice. Our mission is to get you back on your feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.