Learn & Grow/Rehabilitation/How Occupational Therapy Can Improve Chronic Pain

How Occupational Therapy Can Improve Chronic Pain

At The Stayton, our location in the West 7th Cultural District is not just a selling point for those who live here, but an integral part of daily life. Our residents relish the opportunity to walk the neighborhood, explore galleries and take in shows — it’s part of what makes our community so special. At The Stayton, we believe a happy healthy lifestyle stems from caring for the whole person, spiritually, physically and emotionally.

But when chronic pain disrupts your favorite activities and makes it difficult to enjoy doing what you love, we want to help. Our certified occupational therapists work with residents to offer education, treatment and solutions to ease chronic pain so you can make the most of all The Stayton has to offer.

Health Services at Your Service

As the only Life Care community in Fort Worth, The Stayton has additional health services, including occupational and physical therapy, readily available on-site for residents and the cost for additional services built into your monthly fee. That means if you’re looking for an occupational therapist near you, you don’t have to look farther than the familiar and friendly faces in our health center.

The certified occupational therapists in our health center work with residents in independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing, as well as individuals in short-term rehabilitation and older adults in the Fort Worth area who require outpatient therapy.

Occupational Therapy vs. Physical Therapy

When it comes to therapy for chronic pain, one point of confusion that can often come up is the difference between occupational and physical therapies. While the two complement one another, and may even work together to achieve your health goals, there are distinct differences.  Physical therapy focuses more on musculoskeletal issues and functional mobility skills, whereas occupational therapy focuses more on daily skills and the environment in which they occur. Ultimately, your care team will assess your specific needs and come up with a treatment plan that works for you.

Maintain independence with Occupational Therapy

When it comes to managing chronic pain, the goal of our occupational therapists is to work with you to help ease that pain and help you safely maintain independence. If you or a loved one is experiencing difficulty with activities of daily living due to chronic pain, our certified occupational therapists would be happy to provide more information on the ways OT can help improve quality of life.

“I have several independent living residents that have made progress with OT and achieved their personal goals,” says Amber Williams, Occupational Therapist at The Stayton. “They have regained their strength, range of motion and improved their quality of life since participating in therapy services.”

What to Expect

When you visit with your occupational therapist, they will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of your medical history, review functional status and discuss your current activities of daily living in order to discuss available treatment options, develop a plan and establish goals.

Treatment options might include pain management through moist hot packs, cold packs, ultrasound, diathermy and electrical stimulation, as well as skilled hands-on treatment for soft tissue injuries and pain. Often, treatment will also include the use of adaptive equipment like long-handled shoe horns or adaptive feeding equipment needed for grip adjustments.

“As an OT I often recommend use of adaptive equipment to facilitate improved independence with decreased pain during activities of daily living,” says Williams. “These adaptive equipment devices can be utilized for chronic pain from arthritis in the hands, shoulders, low back pain, hip and knee pain.”

A Holistic Approach

Chronic pain has emotional as well as physical impacts. Patients with chronic pain are at higher risk of depression due to decreased independence, reduced self-confidence and social isolation from reduced mobility. Occupational therapy addresses both the mental and physical components of chronic pain.

“Providing opportunities for people to socialize and participate in exercise is important and the Stayton has had an excellent reputation in the Fort Worth community for making therapy fun,” Williams says.

In addition to the pain management treatment and adaptive equipment, occupational therapists provide education on relaxation techniques, stress management, and ways to prioritize daily routines to conserve strength and limit pain. Williams adds she also provides encouragement to the residents she sees and helps them focus on the positives in their skill levels.

If you or a loved one are interested in learning more about the health services available at The Stayton, please fill out the form below or call us at 817-349-7140.

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