Serious injuries – especially those involving the musculoskeletal system – often take more than immediate medical treatment or even surgery to fully heal. That’s particularly true if you consider “healing” to mean regaining as much use of the injured part(s) of your body back as possible and being able to go back to living your life as fully as you can.
Physical therapy (PT) is often a crucial part of this healing. Physical therapists can help people regain strength, mobility and dexterity. They can also help them use mobility aids like wheelchairs, walkers and canes. If you’re seeking compensation from the party at fault for your injuries, it’s important to include the cost of your PT in addition to your other medical bills
How occupational therapy differs from physical therapy
People who have suffered serious, long-term injuries that will require changing the way they manage activities of daily living (ADL) often need some form of occupational therapy (OT). ADL can include everything from eating, bathing and dressing to working, studying and driving.
Some people need OT as well as PT. Others need only OT. For example, people who suffer a brain injury that has caused memory loss or other deficits may be prescribed OT.
Unlike physical therapists, who generally see patients in a facility with the necessary equipment, occupational therapists typically work with patients in their homes or other locations so they can help them adapt to life with their new limitations and determine what kind of modifications they’ll need to their home, office and other spaces.
It can take some time after an injury to determine what kind of therapy you’ll need as you move forward. That’s one reason it’s critical that you don’t agree to a settlement (no matter how good it may look) until you have a full understanding of what your total financial expenditures and losses will be. Getting sound legal guidance as soon as possible can help you maximize your compensation while you focus on recovery.