With stroke as a leading cause of serious long-term disability in the U.S., it’s crucial that stroke victims seek treatment and therapy early on to correct the effects as much as possible. Depending on the patient’s particular problems, his or her rehabilitation team may include rehabilitation doctors or nurses, physical therapists, speech-language therapists, recreational therapists, psychologists, social workers, orthotist, dietitian, vocational counselor and/or an occupational therapist.
Learn more about stroke rehabilitation through Occupational Therapy on MoveIt365.org.
In the United States, there are 6 million people suffering from fibromyalgia, a chronic illness that affects the tendons, ligaments and muscles in the body. People with fibromyalgia feel constant aching, stiffness and fatigue that can go on for months and even years. The chronic pain and exhaustion that accompanies the syndrome can make work and even home life difficult or impossible. Occupational therapy works to decrease these symptoms, while also altering and restructuring the patient’s lifestyle and daily tasks to meet their functional capabilities.
The first step in occupational therapy is observation and analysis. The occupational therapist spends a great deal of time getting to know the patient and their daily schedule so that they can assess and evaluate the patient’s home, work, symptoms and emotional health. Using their findings, the occupational therapist is able to help the patient learn safer and more effective ways to complete daily tasks. The therapist can also offer suggestions to modify the layout of the home and workspace so that it better accommodates the physical needs of the patient. The occupational therapist’s role in evaluating the emotional state of the patient is also important. Since fibromyalgia can bring on many challenges that can cause anxiety, stress and depression, therapy often includes psychiatric work as well. After the occupational therapy is complete, the patient and therapist work together to create a treatment plan that the patient can continue independently. This often includes assistive technology, an exercise program that is tailored to the daily needs of the patient and mental exercises and coping strategies for emotional side effects as well as counseling.
Although occupational therapy cannot rid a patient of their condition, it can help improve quality of life. After completing therapy, many sufferers of fibromyalgia are equipped with the skills and support they need to lead a more balanced, safe and independent lifestyle.