There are a host of types of therapy options that a person with a spinal cord injury might benefit from. One of these options is occupational therapy. Contrary to the way the name sounds, occupational therapy doesn’t mean therapy that will only help the person to do a specific job. Instead, occupational therapy’s goal is to help the person to enjoy meaningful activities and handle daily activities.
An occupational therapist can help a wheelchair dependent person to learn seating options and positioning options for the wheelchair. This can help to make mobility less of an issue. The therapist can also help to maximize upper limb function if the person isn’t suffering from paralysis of the upper limbs. This can prevent discomfort and help with comfort while using the upper limbs.
Occupational therapists also help the person learn how to handle self care activities like bathing. In some cases, that will involve having to get special adaptive devices or equipment, but the occupational therapist can evaluate the situation and help to make recommendations about what equipment will be helpful.
When it comes to a person who is planning to return to work, occupational therapy is helpful because the therapist can help to determine what types of adaptations might help the person to be able to function at work. The therapist can also help with communication skills, which is useful at work and in social situations.
Occupational therapy isn’t free. It is something that some insurance plans would cover. In some cases, seeking compensation might be the first step in being able to afford all the therapy necessary to live a full life.
Source: American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc, “Occupational Therapy and the Care of Individuals With Spinal Cord Injury,” accessed May 18, 2016