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Occupational Therapy

Helping you live life to the fullest

Our team of board-certified occupational therapists is here to help you be as independent as possible in your daily life. Occupational therapy is part of St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Services, which also includes physical therapy, speech therapy and pediatric therapy. These services are available for all ages, from newborn to end-of-life.

What does an occupational therapist (OT) do?
An OT is a healthcare professional who helps people with physical and cognitive issues that affect their everyday activities.

What’s the difference between OT and physical therapy (PT)?
A PT helps patients overcome pain, increase range of motion and gain strength. In contrast, an OT helps patients regain independence with specific activities that are most important to their daily lives. This can include things like learning how to use special equipment. OTs can also help with mental functions like memory and planning.

What can an OT help with?
A large part of an OTs work revolves around Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs). ADLs include bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, showering and functional mobility. IADLs include meal preparation, homemaking tasks, laundry tasks, medication management, financial management, transportation, work skills, emotional management and coping.

OTs at St. Luke’s can also help with the following:

  • Adaptive equipment training
  • Arthritis education and treatment
  • Changes in memory or cognition
  • Chronic neurological conditions (e.g., TBI, spinal cord injuries, MS or Parkinson’s disease)
  • Custom splinting
  • Ergonomics training
  • Fibromyalgia symptoms
  • Hand therapy (for issues like carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, etc.).
  • Home safety assessments
  • Leisure activities
  • Mental health and wellness
  • Prolonged COVID-19 symptoms
  • Pediatric conditions (e.g., breastfeeding, incontinence, delay in age-appropriate performance, etc.)
  • Post-stroke care
  • Returning to driving
  • Visual retraining

What does treatment look like?
Treatment can be broken into 3 steps:

  1. A 60-minute initial assessment. In this first step, you and your OT will develop a treatment plan. This plan will be custom-made for your individual needs and goals.
  2. Appointments with your OT for 4 to 6 weeks. Treatment plans will vary, but typically look like meeting with your OT 1 to 2 times a week for 4 to 6 weeks. These appointments can include hands-on care, exercise, education and learning activities for you to do at home. Each appointment lasts about 45 minutes.
  3. At-home activities and long-term recovery. Your success will largely depend on your commitment to doing the at-home activities you are given. This will require some effort and dedication on your part, but the outcome is always worth it. With these activities, you will be able to manage your condition long-term on your own.

How do I know if I should see an OT?
Are you having difficulty participating in activities you enjoy or getting through your day? Our goal is for you to be able to do the things you love and be as functional as possible in your daily activities. If you are wondering if OT can you help you, call 218.249.6040.

Do St. Luke’s OTs work with children?
Yes, our team is able to care for a wide range of ages, from newborns to adolescents

Referral required for this service. If you need one, talk to your primary care provider.
To establish care with a St. Luke’s primary care provider, call 218.249.4000 or find a clinic near you.

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