OT focuses on helping patients relearn everyday tasks, like brushing teeth or cooking a meal. Physical therapy focuses on rehabilitating movement after injury, trauma or overuse pain.
However, the two disciplines often work together to form a comprehensive treatment plan for a recovering patient.
“We often work with someone who is post-stroke or post-brain injury,” said Dr. Traci Garrison, clinical assistant professor of OT at Missouri State. “So, they have movement issues, cognitive issues and psychosocial issues. With this patient, my PT colleagues will work on balance and specific transfers, while I help the individual get back to everyday tasks, like dressing themselves. It’s a very collaborative process.”