Occupational therapists work with individuals to develop or relearn the skills needed to perform everyday activities of daily living (ADLs) for use in the home and community. These skills include the physical, cognitive, and visual-perceptual abilities to perform self-care and home management. Occupational therapists also work with individuals on more advanced skills to function effectively in the work, school and community environments.
- Neuromuscular re-education and strengthening
- Adaptive equipment or methods for ADLs
- Community re-entry
- Hand therapy
Neuromuscular re-education focuses on improving the strength, timing, coordination and force production of muscles affected by injury. Occupational therapists (OTs) provide therapeutic interventions that are consistent with the latest research evidence. An example of equipment utilized by occupational therapists to improve neuromuscular functioning is Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES.)
NMES is one modality that can help facilitate improved motor control for functional use of the arm and hand. The electrical stimulation helps to generate stronger muscle contractions to allow the patient to use the arm and hand more effectively during functional activities such as grasping and reaching.
Often our patients have experienced a decline in their ability to perform their activities of daily living due to their injury or illness. Our occupational therapists and Occupational Therapy assistants can utilize adaptive equipment or modify ways to perform tasks to help the individual regain as much independence as possible. We Offer wheelchair accessible bedroom, laundry area, bathroom, kitchen and living room. Occupational therapists work with patients in this setting to practice using adaptive equipment or adaptive methods for the best, most independent level of function possible.
Many patients who have had a neurological incident experience changes in their visual function. Our occupational therapists screen patients for difficulties with visual processing and, if necessary, make referrals to professionals who specialize in neurology and low vision. Therapists work on improving patient function by teaching and incorporating visual-perceptual compensatory strategies and facilitating improved visual processing through therapeutic activities.
Occupational therapists work with patients who are considering returning to work after experiencing a neurological or complex orthopedic disability. The occupational therapist collaborates with other health care professionals working with the patient to develop an appropriate treatment plan to prepare the patient for return to the working environment.
The occupational therapist can contacts the patient’s employer as needed to get information regarding the job, policies related to return to work, and special consideration/circumstances that might impact successful return to work.
Occupational therapists also help patients consider other work options if they are unable to return to the job they had prior to injury or illness. The therapist may help patients become aware of their transferable work skills and make physical and/or cognitive adaptations that will enable them to seek other work or participate in vocational services in the community.
Hand therapy is a specialized form of occupational therapy focusing on the diagnosis, management and treatment of upper extremity dysfunction. A certified hand therapist evaluates and treats pre and post-surgical conditions including fractures, sprains, arthritis, tendonitis, cumulative trauma, nerve and tendon injuries, and upper extremity stiffness and weakness. A variety of treatment interventions including custom static and dynamic splinting, exercises, ergonomic training, manual techniques and modalities such as electrical stimulation, heat/cold, and ultrasound are used to reduce pain and swelling, improve range of motion and strength, and restore maximum upper extremity function.