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Physical Therapy for Children

The Difference Between Pediatric Occupational Therapy And Physical Therapy?

Both occupational and physical therapy are beneficial for children, but they focus on different aspects of development. This article will discuss the core differences between the two disciplines and how they work together for the betterment of children.

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In this blog you will learn about the difference between Pediatric Occupational Therapy and Pediatric Physical Therapy. People often mistake occupational therapy with physical treatment. Both careers need serious schooling and study time. Physical Therapists need a Ph.D., whereas Occupational Therapists need a master’s but some OT’s opt for their doctorate. To work as an OTA or a PTA, you need an associate degree in the respective field.

Both occupational and physical therapy are beneficial for children, but they focus on different aspects of development. This article will discuss the core differences between the two disciplines and how they work together for the betterment of children.

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Although both pediatric physical therapy and occupational therapy can look at a few similarities like:

  • Muscle Flexibility
  • Muscle Length
  • Range of Motion
  • Muscle Tone
  • Managing Pain and Discomfort

The most significant difference is how and in what context we look at these things. Operational therapy looks at how the factors mentioned above can affect the functioning of daily life. However, physical therapy looks at how these factors affect mobility in gross motor skills. Here is a clear difference between Pediatric OT and PT for children.

Occupational therapists help people regain their independence in the workplace and everyday life once they have overcome physical, mental, developmental, or emotional health issues that have hampered their performance.

Those who most benefit from the services of an occupational therapist are those who display:

  • Injuries or deformities present at birth
  • Disorders of sensory processing
  • Traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries
  • Autism spectrum illnesses and other developmental problems
  • Disorders of the mind or conduct
  • They may be hampered in their daily activities because of other ailments and disorders.

In occupational therapy, the focus is on giving patients more control over their daily lives. Patients’ independence is restored, and their quality of life is improved by occupational therapists because they assist them to relearn or learn for the first time how to carry out daily living activities.

A patient’s physical therapist will work to improve their mobility and gross motor skills to take part in everyday activities to the fullest extent possible. Physical therapists may aid in developing gross motor skills such as walking, crawling, jumping, standing, kicking, and skipping. A child’s balance and coordination may be improved by a physical therapist as well.

Patients of physical therapists often have suffered from an accident or disease that has impaired some physiological function, such as:

  • Possible injuries include bone breaks, sprained joints, etc.
  • Disorders of the musculoskeletal system include things like a sprained ankle, a herniated disc in your back, or a fractured rib.
  • Medical diseases affecting the heart and lungs include cystic fibrosis, heart attacks, and COPD (COPD)
  • Sports-related injuries (including concussions)
  • Concerns specific to women’s health

Do Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists Work Together?

You will often see occupational and physical therapists work together to develop a rehabilitation plan for the child. This includes helping children improve their gross motor skills, strengthening muscles, and teaching them how to move with support.

Both therapies also assist in developing social skills by teaching children how to communicate effectively. The type of therapy for kids depends on the child’s needs. Some children may need one kind of therapy, while others may require both.

Key Takeaway

Both physical therapy and occupational therapy have many similarities but also have important distinctions. It is not uncommon for remarkable improvement to be noticed when PTs and OTs collaborate. If a child’s physical therapist helps them improve their shoulder and core strength, their occupational therapist may see an uptick in their fine motor abilities since they have a firmer basis on which to build.

On the other hand, the PT session may be more fruitful and helpful if the OT teaches the kid coping strategies to deal with the child’s regular behavioral challenges. In conclusion, a child’s growth, autonomy, and confidence may all be greatly aided by the work of a physical therapist or occupational therapist.

See our amazing Team of OT’s and PT’s Today!

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