Occupational TherapyDr. Howard Liss treats disorders that cause pain and disability by providing consultative services and soft tissue and joint injections when needed. When medically appropriate, he makes specific referrals for diagnostic testing (lab work, imaging, electrodiagnosis), physical and occupational therapy, interventional procedures (epidurals and facet joint injections), and surgery.
When individuals are limited in physical, developmental, cognitive or emotional capacities, it is often difficult for them to engage in activities, events and other endeavors. Occupational therapy is an interventional form of therapy designed to help individuals learn how to live independent, creative and satisfying lives. It incorporates the use of ergonomics and adaptation to help patients maximize their level of functioning.
For all ages and walks of life, occupational therapists serve those in schools, hospitals, government settings, community and private sectors, nursing facilities, home health programs, outpatient settings, prisons and a range of other industries. Occupational therapists may work with children with a developmental deficiency or those with emotional impairments. They also play a vital role in rehabilitative protocols, along with other specialists in an interdisciplinary approach.
While some confuse occupational therapy with physical therapy, they are not the same. Specifically, occupational therapists partner with patients, helping them develop skills to be able to perform the things that are important to them. While some require help with eating or dressing themselves, others may benefit from modifications to their home or workplace to simplify everyday tasks. In turn, when patients are suffering from a mental disorder such as anxiety and depression, occupational therapists are equipped to come alongside them to encourage and empower them.
Occupational Therapy and Physiatry
As physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) specialists, physiatrists understand the power of an effective treatment and rehabilitative program for patients with pain, impaired functioning and a wide variety of other musculoskeletal and neuropathic conditions.
Without question, occupational therapy enhances the success of any multidisciplinary treatment program, with a specific framework for each case. For instance, suppose an elderly patient suffers a hip fracture. For a short time, she may use a wheelchair, yet she is now working with an occupational therapist to gain the strength and coordination to walk again. The therapist may have the patient use a walker with a gait belt to improve her ability to walk steadily with coordination. In another case, an occupational therapist may suggest selective sensory devices or stimulation for a student struggling with ADHD. Yet, in another example, a man may be unable to work due to a low back injury. The occupational therapist can offer assistance in helping him find a job that he is able to perform successfully, given his limitations. Finally, young women struggling with anxiety can benefit from occupational therapy. It can offer help with time management, as well as finding balance and creating predictability in her schedule.
Given the many “hats” of an occupational therapist, it’s easy to see why occupational therapy is of great value to physiatrists, as they strive to empower patients with comprehensive treatment to improve their overall quality of life.
At the Howard Liss, M.D. Rehabilitation Institute in Tenafly, Dr. Howard Liss finds great value in occupational therapy. With an emphasis on helping patients live their best life, Dr. Liss remains dedicated to interdisciplinary treatment and therapy that is personalized for every patient.
To schedule your appointment, contact the Howard Liss, M.D. Rehabilitation Institute today.