Occupational Therapy News
Occupational Therapy

What is occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy is client-centered rehabilitation that identifies strengths and impairments in the ability to perform self care, home management, work and leisure activities that result from a developmental condition, injury, or disease.  Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. (www.aota.org)


What do occupational therapists do?

Occupational therapists work with individuals across the lifespan to address-fine motor coordination, sensory impairments, strength and range of motion deficits, cognitive impairments, and independence in activities of daily living- also called occupations.

Occupational therapists work with children with delays in development; adults with injuries, diseases, or fractures limiting work; and older adults having difficulty with maintaining independence.  Occupational therapists are specialized in adaptations of the task and/or environment, activity analysis, and incorporating functional activities into rehabilitation.


Why are people referred to occupational therapy?

People are referred to occupational therapy in order to restore, adapt, or compensate for impairments that are the result of a developmental condition, injury, or disease.  The occupational therapist will work with patients to develop an individualized plan of care to maximize function and independence in daily activities.


What do I need to bring with me to my first appointment?

Please bring your prescription for therapy from your doctor, your insurance card, a list of your medications, and any paperwork you were given to complete prior to the evaluation.


What happens during my first visit?

You will be asked to arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment with your therapist to complete paperwork and review your insurance benefits.  You will be asked to complete a symptoms questionnaire.  Your therapist will complete an evaluation and an examination assessing:  posture, range of motion, strength, joint mobility, fine motor coordination, cognition (if applicable), activities of daily living,  and completing special tests.  Your therapist will discuss with you: your medical history, current problem, pain intensity and what aggravates/eases the pain, how your daily activities are impacted, your goals from therapy and medications, tests, and procedures related to your health.   Upon gathering all needed information, your therapist will inform and educate you about treatment options and the recommended course of care.


What else can I expect as a patient?

Big Stone Therapies’ professional staff takes pride in our Patients First approach to rehabilitation.  Exactly what does that mean?

  • We listen attentively to YOUR needs.
  • We promise open, honest communication with YOU and the other members of your health care team.
  • During each treatment session, we will provide YOU with education about your diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • We will provide YOU access to information you need to make the best health care decisions.
  • YOU will be involved in all decisions made concerning your health.


How should I dress for therapy?

You should wear loose fitting clothing so you can expose the area that will be evaluated and treated.  For example, if you have an elbow problem, it is best to wear short sleeves.  Or for a shoulder problem, a sleeveless top is a good choice.  We do have gowns available for patient use as needed.


How long will each treatment last?

Expect your first visit to last 60 to 75 minutes.  Follow up treatment sessions are typically 45 to 60 minutes.


How many visits will I need?

This is highly variable among each individual, depending upon your diagnosis, the severity of your impairments, your past medical history, etc.  During the first visit, your therapist will discuss with you how many treatment visits they anticipate you will need.


Who pays for my therapy?

In most cases, health insurance will cover your treatment.  Prior to your first visit, we will verify your insurance coverage and we encourage you to do the same as well.  At your first visit, you will be given the Verification of Benefits Form that includes information, such as: co-pay amount, deductible, and number of approved visits.


Will the therapist communicate with my health care provider?

Big Stone Therapies understands the importance of communication among members of your health care team (you, your therapist, your doctor).  As a result, following your initial evaluation, your therapist will send your doctor a detailed report with the findings of your evaluation, the assessment of your condition, a description of the treatment plan, and a complete list of the goals to be achieved in therapy.

Before each appointment you have with your doctor, your therapist will complete a written progress report for your doctor to ensure they have the most up to date information concerning your care.  Additionally, your therapist will not hesitate to contact your doctor by phone if any specific questions or concerns arise.  At the end of your treatment, a final report will be sent with information regarding your status at the time of discharge from therapy.


What type of follow-up is offered?

At Big Stone Therapies, your therapist will give you a home exercise program that is appropriate for you upon discharge of therapy.  You will be given detailed instructions of how to complete your at home program, allowing you to continue the progress you made in therapy and avoid further injury.


We are your partners in recovery, so even after your discharge, if you ever have any questions or concerns, call us and we will be more than happy to assist you in any manner possible.

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