What is the difference between Physical Therapy (PT) and Occupational Therapy (OT)?

Physical therapy and occupational therapy both aim to help a patient improve their abilities. The physical therapist will do this primarily by working with the patient to improve their muscle strength, balance, power, or stamina. Their treatment will usually include exercises that will work on different muscles or movements so that the patient increases their amount of movement, or relearns to move in a correct way.

The physical therapist may need to work with the patient first by applying heat, or moving their arms and legs for them. A physical therapist can work with athletes recovering from sports injuries as well as people who have experienced stroke, head injury, amputation, etc. They also work with people who need to improve their balance and walking skills. Physical therapists work with patients on techniques that can help prevent falls. Physical therapists are also vital in helping children and adults with disabilities learn how to move.

An occupational therapist’s goal is to help a patient gain as much independence as possible in daily activities such as washing, eating, food preparation, working, hobbies, etc. There are numerous reasons why these activities may be difficult. For example, a patient may not be able to eat due to limited arm or hand mobility. In this situation, treatment could start with exercises to help improve hand and arm movements. If a patient cannot achieve the movement required, the occupational therapist will work to adapt the activity, for example, by giving the patient the correct specialist cutlery or a special plate. The occupational therapist knows how to adapt the activity and the environment to meet the needs and abilities of each individual patient.

Treatment provided by an occupational therapist is activity based. An occupational therapist uses a task as a means of improving a patient’s skill. A physical therapist will provide patients with exercises as they may have a more in-depth knowledge of the muscular skeletal system. Occupational therapists are experts in task analysis and work on how to enable someone to do things for themselves, rather than requiring assistance. These two disciplines frequently work closely together with the same patient.

What are your hours and where are you located?

We try our best to accommodate our patients’ schedules, therefore hours vary slightly depending on the location you choose. Please follow the link within this site to the therapy location you’d like to visit. The clinic hours, directions and phone number will be listed. If you have further questions please don’t hesitate to contact that office directly.

Will my insurance cover physical therapy?

In almost all situations your insurance will cover physical therapy treatment. The extent of coverage will vary. Although we will contact your insurance provider to verify benefits, we ask that you also call your carrier if you have detailed questions about your plan. All of our clinics are part of St. Elizabeth Healthcare and are billed through our main campus in Edgewood, KY. 

What will therapy cost me?

You will have an opportunity to pay any co-pay, co-insurance or deductible at the time of treatment. If you’re having difficulty making your payment, one of our insurance counselors will work with you regarding financial arrangements.

How many visits per week will I need to come and how long will the visits last?

Your initial evaluation will usually last 45-60 minutes. At that time you and your therapist will determine the appropriate frequency to provide the best results for your diagnosis. Follow-up visits usually last 30-45 minutes and most patients do well with 2-3 visits a week. However, we will work within your personal and/or insurance constraints as needed.

What do I need to wear?

Please wear comfortable clothing (i.e. t-shirt or comfortable cotton shirt that will allow movement of your arms and torso; sweat pants or elastic waist pants that will allow movement of your legs; and sensible footwear such as tennis shoes or flat leather lace up shoes). Please keep in mind the therapist may need to visually inspect a particular body part or perform specific tests, so we may need to expose that body part during assessment.