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What is the difference between OT and PT?

People often ask about the relationship between occupational therapy (OT) and physical therapy (PT). At Beebe, both services are offered through our Physicial Rehabilitation programs, however, there are many differences, as well as similarities, between PT and OT.

Occupational therapy tends to focus more on the evaluation and improvement of a person's ability to live an independent life. OTs teach their clients how to perform daily tasks, such as putting on clothing and shoes. Often clients come to us after recovering from an injury that left them with a physical impairment. Beebe's OTs then assess the patient, his or her home, and get an understanding of what daily tasks are causing difficulties. The OT can then teach the person to overcome those difficulties so he or she can get back to living the life they love.

Physical therapists have the same goal of getting a patient back to living his or her life. However, they may focus more on body movements than specific tasks. PTs work with most patients after an injury or surgery to help them regain use of a knee, hip, or arm. Both PTs and OTs help patients get around better and both focus on strengthening and endurance.