Over the past 35 years or so, I've been to many Physical Rehabilitation center. I've seen probably about 20 different Physical Therapists. However, for the past 8 years, I have had one specific therapist that knows every problem I have and knows what is needed.
Recently, I developed Trigger Thumb. This was brought on by an arthritic condition in my right arm. While, the hand/thumb is not directly related to our spines, the result of multiple spinal surgeries many times lead to a degenerative arthritic condition.
So, my problem with the thumb is indirectly related to my spine.
When I started therapy about a month ago, I was sent to see an Occupational Therapist. I knew they existed, but never know what they really did. My Occupational Therapist took on the job in evaluating and correcting my thumb condition.
In many aspects, the OT treatments were similar to PT. (Tens, massages, heat, etc) They initially put me in a hard thumb splint, but recently gave me the information to get a flexible thumb splint.
All of this has helped calm down my thumb problem. Its still sore, and I will probably have bouts with it from time to time. As long as my friendly arthritis is there, I know something else will happen.
My experience with OT was great, probably similar to PT. But I did learn more about what OT folks get into. The definitions below are from an OTPlan website. But to me, a Physical Therapist works to get me back on my feet. The put a lot of effort into various treatments to minimize your pain. Then once you plateau, you are discharged. The Occupational Therapist works with you on how to then use body in a daily matter so as to let you function as normal as possible.
OT - A new area for me and my personal thanks and appreciation to my Occupational Therapist - Becky!
Snipet taken from OTPlan web site
The occupational therapist is trained to modifying the physical environment as well as training the person to use assistive equipment to increase independence. They focus to help their patients engage in meaningful activities of daily living (ADLs)
The physical therapist is trained to identifying and maximizing quality of life and movement potential within the spheres of promotion, prevention, diagnosis, treatment/intervention, and rehabilitation. They focus on the physical, psychological, emotional, and social well-being.
Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences