Occupational Therapy helps people get back to doing what they want to do, need to do, and are expected to do. This can range from smaller, everyday tasks like brushing your teeth, to more complex activities such returning to school or sport. Occupational Therapists work with other healthcare professionals (e.g., physiotherapists, chiropractors, and massage therapists) to provide well-rounded, high-quality care to help you achieve your goals, whatever they may be!
Occupational Therapy at Max Health Fredericton
Emily Wright is an Occupational Therapist who obtained a MSc. Occupational Therapy degree from the University of Toronto. She is registered with the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapy (CAOT) and is a member of the New Brunswick Association of Occupational Therapist (NBAOT). Emily focuses on physical health while understanding that mental health is inevitably intertwined.
Areas of practice include, but are not limited to:
- Cancer rehabilitation (e.g., axillary web syndrome [aka cording]
- Post-radiation changes [e.g., myofascial tightness]
- Chemo induced peripheral neuropathy)
- Upper extremity rehabilitation (e.g., mallet finger, distal radius fractures, Dupuytren’s contracture, frozen shoulder)
- Concussion rehabilitation (e.g., energy conservation, self-management strategies, goal-setting)
- Treatment of general areas such as scar management, posture, workstation ergonomics, and sleep concerns
Who can benefit from Occupational Therapy?
Anyone of any age who’s goal is to improve upon their quality of life can benefit from Occupational therapy!
The NBAOT states, “Occupational Therapy (OT) helps to solve the problems that interfere with your ability to do the things that are important to you. It can also prevent a problem or minimize its effects.
When an injury, illness, disability or other problem limits your ability to take care of yourself, participate in paid or unpaid work, or enjoy your leisure time, e.g. hobbies, sports, spending time with family, then you may want to learn some new skills for the job of living from an occupational therapist.”
Occupational Therapy FAQ
What are occupations?
Because of the title, it is often misconstrued that occupational therapists help people find jobs. However, occupations are anything that occupy your time. Occupations are typically grouped into self care (e.g., brushing your teeth, eating, sleeping, showering), productivity (e.g., work, school, volunteer), and leisure (e.g., reading, watching TV, exercising).
What is the difference between occupational therapy and physiotherapy?
Because occupations can be pretty much anything, occupational therapists (OTs) have a broad scope of practice covering physical, mental, and cognitive domains. OTs enable their patients to participate in their day-to-day activities, despite any injuries/illnesses they may have. This may be through means of stretching and strengthening, retraining/relearning tasks, or providing education or adaptive equipment. OTs can teach their patients new skills or can modify the task itself or the environment to make completing their activities easier.
Physiotherapists (PTs), on the other hand, work to assess and rehabilitate physical injuries and improve movement and mobility. Physiotherapists focus more on the underlying physical issues and physical functioning than the activities themselves. Additionally, PTs provide hands-on therapy to the entire body, while OTs provide hands-on therapy primarily to the upper extremities (i.e., hands, arms, shoulders).
In other words, Physiotherapists always work to improve movement and strength and overall physical performance of various body parts, while OTs will always focus on helping their patients complete the tasks they need to do by any means, which may include improving strength and movement of the upper body.
There is often some overlap as both disciplines prescribe stretches and strengthening exercises. Both will work with their patients to set goals, and they will both work to maximize patient safety and to improve quality of life.
Are occupational therapists doctors?
No, occupational therapists (OTs) are not doctors. The majority of OTs have completed a Masters degree in occupational therapy. However, some OTs who have been practicing longer may have a bachelor degree in occupational therapy.
Where can occupational therapists provide treatment?
Occupational therapist (OTs) can work in a variety of locations including hospitals, long-term care homes, schools, businesses/companies, mental health centres, the community, and private clinics – like Max Health!