in ,

Differences between Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy

Medical terminology can be a trigger for confusion among people who do not know very well what each specialty is about, but the truth is that it is not so complicated to understand when viewed from a practical and functional position of the fields that are they study

Physiotherapy and occupational therapy:
different but with the same objective

Today, for example, we will know the difference between occupational therapy and physiotherapy, which in spite of being focused on similar subjects and with the same purpose, perform different functions for the health of the patient.

Occupational therapy:

On the one hand we find occupational therapy and the first thing we need to know about this is that it is not essentially responsible for treating a person’s injury, but rather helps him cope with the condition in his day to day, to transform his environment with their new capabilities , and above all to improve their movement .


How do we see it ?:

It is basically a professional who has been prepared for several years in the “doing” of the human being, in a context that implies that for someone to do one or another activity, he must participate in it, so he takes care that the movement ( occupation) is appropriate after living an episode of contusion that became an injury.

What are the benefits of occupational therapy ?:

When the professional is linked to the “doing”, we can be talking about multiple benefits in terms of the integrality of the patient’s activities. In other words: you will find the way to do activities with relative normality without forgetting the precautions of the new condition, but without allowing it to intervene substantially in daily life.

What is done with the patient ?:

With occupational therapy is being achieved that the patient is aware that it is not the same in anatomical terms because a part does not work properly. It is not a limitation in itself, but a transformation in which you should recommend what to do and what not to do; how to evolve your environment according to the new intrinsic issues of the injury and how to use your skills to improve your quality of life .


At the other extreme we find physiotherapy as an equally professional model for which the intervention of the body itself is required.



To understand physiotherapy we must understand that this is based on the study of anatomy under the terms of normality in order to later define a behavior as “alteration” and proceed with its evaluation . Also in musculoskeletal conditions, tissues and even physiology to understand the repairs and consequences .

In practice:

When we speak of a physiotherapist, we are referring to a professional who, unlike the occupational therapist, is responsible for treating the injury itself and also for preventing them .

Two objectives:

We could summarize the extensive work of physiotherapy in two essential aspects: on the one hand there is physical rehabilitation that is in charge of improving the conditions of movement of the patient involved, trying to return to normality any issue that is not under it; in the second half we find pain relief that focuses on improving the quality of life of a person with chronic or acute physical damage in effect whose pain is disabling.

In society:

This health discipline assists in the promotion, prevention, cure and palliation of someone’s health according to legal and professional knowledge. It also does so from the teaching point of view in training and prevention in schools, universities and physical development centers such as gyms. Apart from an investigative work that seeks science to proceed in a more comfortable and effective way in the relief of pain.

Physiotherapy and occupational therapy, a meeting point:

Although the 2 health professions have marked differences in their approach, it is very common to find points of balance between them. For example, an occupational therapist can be very useful in education and prevention during and after the healing process in a patient .

In turn, physiotherapists can help people to carry out daily activities through education and training .

However, finally, what is sought in both is a complementarity to recover from injuries to those involved and provide a better quality of life at all times.

Important differences between a physiotherapist and a massage therapist

Difference between Science and Philosophy