Healthy Focus – April 2022

Physical therapy vs. Occupational therapy

Physical therapy (PT) emphasizes improving biomechanical move­ments to increase mobility, improve range of motion, and lessen pain.

Occupational therapy (OT) helps you resume your normal activities. Instead of focusing on how to increase motion in your knee after surgery, for example, which is what PT does, OT is about what you need or want your knee to do for you, and then finding ways to do it safely.

Activities of Daily Living
When you’re healthy, you don’t think about routine, day-to-day activities, such as getting dressed, preparing food or even going to the bathroom. However, when you’re recovering from joint surgery, these simple tasks can be overwhelming—maybe even impossible.

How occupational therapists can help you safely resume your normal activities:

  • GETTING DRESSED
  • PREPARING MEALS
  • GETTING AROUND AT HOME
  • BATHING OR TOILETING

WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR
If you are having joint replacement or other orthopedic surgery, talk to your doctor about the occupational therapy that is right for you so that you can restore your mobility as soon as possible.

PHYSICAL THERAPY VS. OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

An occupational therapist will work with you so you can resume your activities and self-care as quickly as possible. Take getting dressed, for example. You may find it’s too difficult to put on your pants, shoes and socks, following knee or hip surgery. Physical therapy can help you regain the ability to bend over or to bend your knee. Occupational therapy, on the other hand, provides tools or techniques to compensate for movements you can’t do. With a dressing stick (which allows you to pull clothes on and off), a sock aid, and a long-handled shoehorn—and some how-to instructions—you can learn to dress yourself while you recover. The ability to perform such tasks independently will give you a sense of control and motivate you to keep up with your rehabilitation program.

Occupational therapy will also teach you how to move about safely during recovery. You might need to learn how to sit properly; get out of bed or a car when you can’t easily bend or twist; or use a cane until you’re strong enough to ambulate on your own. Your OT can also help you make safety changes at home, such as removing trip hazards and installing grab bars in the bathroom to prevent falls.

For more information about HCMC Center for Wellness & Rehab services please call us at (731) 642-2411 from 7:00 am to 5:30 pm Monday thru Friday.

ACTION STEP

Talk to your orthopedic doctor about your post-surgery recovery plan and ask whether occupational therapy as part of your rehabilitation is recommended.

© 2017 Relevate Health Group. All rights reserved.

All Stressed Up and Nowhere to Go

Most of us see stress as unavoidable, as part of being an employee, parent, student; as part of being human. Stress plays an important role in keeping us aware of our surroundings and able to react to change. Your body is equipped to deal with normal amounts of stress; however, when you experience prolonged states of stress, it can have a negative impact on your mental and physical health. Studies have found that almost half of all adults suffer from stress-related health issues. Unrelieved stress can contribute to headaches, high blood pressure, fatigue, depression, chest pain, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

So relax! There are many activities and techniques that can help you manage your stress and keep it at a healthy level. Try some of these tips to help you de-stress wherever you are.

  • Walk it off: Taking a walk can help lower stress hormones by increasing your endorphins. Even walking for 10 minutes can help you shed stress. If you can, stroll through a park, as natural sunlight boosts your mood, and nature has been shown to help reduce stress and allow for relaxed reflection.
  • Take a deep breath: Deep breathing tricks your body into feeling like it is relaxed and increases your oxygen levels, helping you shed tension and stress.
  • Give yourself a break: Take some time away from your phone and computer. Research has shown that continuous computer usage has been linked to depression, loss of sleep, and high levels of stress in women. Give yourself several breaks from your computer during the day, and try to turn it off at least an hour before you go to bed. Unsurprisingly, studies have shown that cell phones (especially smart phones) increase stress as you feel pressured to answer every call, text, and email.
  • Don’t be so hard on yourself: Negative thoughts in reaction to a stressor can actually increase stress, but thinking positively can help calm you down and get you through each challenge. Instead of telling yourself that a task is impossible, try thinking that you will do the best you can or that you can get through it by taking the task one step at a time.
  • Grab a snack: Feeling hungry puts stress on the brain, so try taking a few minutes for a small, healthy snack – like nuts or a piece of fruit – to fill you up and help you de-stress without overeating.
  • Create a green space: Buying plants for your house or desk can help keep you calm. Research has shown that just being around plants can help lower blood pressure and help you relax. Many plants, like aloe, are also incredible air purifiers and can help filter many toxins from the air in your home or workplace.
  • Just stop and listen: Listening to music you love immediately boosts your dopamine levels, giving you an instant pick-me-up. Classical music is particularly relaxing; it has been proven to lessen stress hormone levelsand lower blood pressure and heart rates.
  • Get creative: The repetitive motions involved in several crafts, like knitting and jewelry making, can be soothing and help you get rid of stress. Taking time for any creative activities you enjoy can help you relax and get your mind away from your stressors.

Where to Find Help
When left unchecked, stress can cause serious health problems. If you need help managing stress, you’re certainly not alone. The caring team at Paris Behavioral Health Clinic can help. To make an appointment call 731-644-8441.