Learn & Grow/Rehabilitation/Improve Chronic Pain with Occupational Therapy

Improve Chronic Pain with Occupational Therapy

At Friendship Village of South Hills, our residents and their quality of life is our top priority. From the moment you sign a contract, it is our goal to meet and even anticipate your needs to help you live life to the fullest. For some residents, chronic pain from arthritis or surgery can make even the most basic daily tasks a struggle and prevent them from making the most of every day. That’s where our skilled health services providers come in.

On-Site Health Services

As a Life Care community, additional health services and support are built into your monthly fee and are available on-site to residents who might require it. If you or a loved one is experiencing chronic pain and looking for an occupational therapist near you to help, you need not look further than our very own community. The certified occupational therapists in our health center work with residents in independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and short-term rehabilitation as well as provide outpatient therapy to older adults in the Pittsburgh area.

Occupational Therapy vs Physical Therapy

When it comes to utilizing therapies to manage chronic pain, there is often some confusion surrounding the difference between occupational therapy and physical therapy. While both therapies can aid in the management of chronic pain, a physical therapist focuses more on pain management in relation to the musculoskeletal system and mobility, while an occupational therapist focuses more on pain management in relation to your environment and the completion of daily tasks.

Your care team will work with you to determine which therapies will be most helpful for you and your unique circumstances.

Maintain Independence with Occupational Therapy

Our occupational therapists work with you to not only ease your chronic pain, but to also help you maintain the independent lifestyle you enjoy. They will evaluate the impact of pain on your daily function and then offer education, manual therapy, environmental modifications (like grab bars) or adaptive equipment (like sock aides or reachers) to ease that pain.

What to Expect with Occupational Therapy

On your first visit with an occupational therapist, they will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of your medical history, review your functional status and evaluate your activities of daily living, like bathing, cooking, cleaning and dressing. With a baseline established, your occupational therapist will discuss treatment options with you and help establish goals.

Andrea Parzick, Occupational Therapist at Friendship Village of South Hills, says that after establishing a relationship with a resident, they might begin working on “strengthening activities, positioning during daily tasks, and modifications of the environment as well as work simplification techniques to assist with the reduction of pain with daily tasks.”

A Holistic Treatment Plan

Because occupational therapy considers the entire environment in which pain occurs, treatment plans address more than just the physical body. Individuals living with chronic pain are at higher risk of depression due to decreased independence, reduced self-confidence and social isolation from reduced mobility. Breathing techniques and stress management can help with the mental side effects of chronic pain as well as support and encouragement from your understanding occupational therapist.

Education and the discussion of a treatment plan is a crucial step when working towards a successful outcome for both mind and body. The American Occupational Therapy Association even highlights education as foundational in addressing chronic pain. When you know what to expect, both from treatment options and their anticipated results, you are better equipped to handle what’s to come.

If you or a loved one would like to learn more about the services offered through our Health Center, please fill out the form below or call us at 724-941-3100.

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