The most basic difference between physical therapy and occupational therapy is that a physical therapist focuses on improving the patient's ability to move their body, while an OT focuses on improving the patient's ability to perform activities of daily living. The scope of physical therapy and occupational therapy is the main difference between them.
Physical therapiststypically focus on helping people move better, while occupational therapists help people with the wide variety of tasks that occupy their lives. For example, an occupational therapist may work with a patient who has arthritis and difficulties with manual dexterity, while a physical therapist can work with this patient to improve their strength, balance, and range of motion, which can help them regain the ability to walk.
Occupational therapists must pass the national exam administered by the National Certification Board in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). In addition to improving physical functioning, occupational therapists work in many types of social, emotional, and work situations. A physical therapist would focus on what the person needs to do physically to get to a large store. It's not uncommon for occupational therapy and physical therapy to become confused with each other, especially among students who are considering a field in the medical industry.
The biggest difference between physical therapy and occupational therapy is that physical therapists focus on the most important motor skills (standing, walking, stretching their hands), while occupational therapists focus on fine motor skills and their role in daily life (for example, devising better ways to help someone brush their teeth if they have severe limitations). The goal of physical therapy is to regulate and control pain, improve muscle weakness, increase endurance, and generally improve range of motion. If you have physical, mental, or developmental problems that affect your daily life, consider getting help from an occupational therapist or physical therapist. A doctor's degree in physical therapy awarded by an education program for physical therapists accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education is required.
Physical therapists work with patients to improve their mobility, strength, flexibility, and overall physical function. Physical therapy is a field of health that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of physical disabilities, injuries, and disabilities.