How occupational therapy can help you get your life back

After you’ve had acute stroke care, orthopedic surgery or been diagnosed with a disability, your doctor at Southern Hills Hospital may refer you to an occupational therapist. Occupational therapy is a uniquely patient-driven model of care because the therapist guides the patient in setting the course for the treatment. The goals of occupational therapy are not only to recover to the fullest extent possible, but also to let you get back to doing the things you love.

Dealing with chronic pain

Chronic pain can be baffling because it can persist even after the original injury has healed. Chronic pain touches virtually every area of a patient’s life—from emotional health to functional abilities. To help you learn how to better manage everyday activities and cope with limitations, an occupational therapist may do the following:

  • Identify triggers that worsen pain
  • Recommend pain-free alternatives
  • Decrease dependence on pain medications
  • Teach the use of adaptive equipment
  • Demonstrate alternative ways of performing activities

To get the most out of occupational therapy, you can openly communicate your goals, lifestyle desires and challenges. It’s the mission of your occupational therapist to help you enjoy good quality of life.

Recovering from a major surgery

Orthopedic surgeries such as joint replacements require extensive recovery and rehabilitation. Occupational therapists play a key role in the rehabilitation process. They can help patients with the following:

  • Getting around with a walker
  • Doing daily tasks without stressing the healing area
  • Positioning properly for sleep
  • Transferring in and out of the car

Restoring abilities after stroke

Stroke survivors often face life-altering challenges, including temporary or permanent paralysis, thinking difficulties and emotional upheaval. An occupational therapist can help with all of these difficulties to allow stroke survivors to live as independently as possible. Occupational therapy can benefit stroke survivors in the following ways:

  • Learn one-handed techniques for tasks
  • Use adaptive equipment
  • Improve safety in the home
  • Educate caregivers
  • Improve strength and endurance
  • Facilitate mobility in the community
  • Cope with memory and concentration problems

The newly updated orthopedic and spine unit at Southern Hills Hospital provides the latest in surgical technology, comfortable patient rooms and a fully equipped physical therapy gym. At our modern hospital in Las Vegas, we are committed to giving our patients the superior care they deserve. Call a registered nurse at (702) 916-5023 to request a referral to an orthopedic specialist.

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