Occupational therapy evaluation…OT differs from PT

Occupational therapy evaluation…OT differs from PT

I had an OT evaluation yesterday. 0T stands for occupational therapy. The difference really between physical therapy and occupational therapy is occupational therapy deals with more fine motor skills. Physical therapy deals with more of the physical stuff. I never realized my health care covered 20 days of both therapies. I thought it was 20 days total. So this will be the first time in OT.

For 13 years, I worked in a nursing home as a financial billing office manager. I spent many meetings with our physical therapy department making sure their billing was correct for our Medicare and Medicaid billing. I know full well how it works with occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy. I’m no stranger to any of these. However, I myself have never participated in occupational therapy.

The evaluation was pretty simple, a lot of questions about my past, my symptoms, and mostly about my issues are. I had to do a grip test which measures your grip force in psi (pounds per square inch). Of course my first question was is that good or bad and he said “it’s not measured for good and bad, it’s measured right against left.” Considering I’m right dominant they expected my right to be stronger, which it was, but my left which has most of my MS problems, was only was lower by 5 which wasn’t bad. Then I had to do a pinch test with my thumb on top then my index finger on top. I didn’t have much force on either side but they were pretty even between right and left.

The bad one was the nine pegs that I had a takeout with my right hand and put back with my right hand and then do the same thing with the left. This test was shaky went as I expected. The right hand went ok, a few little bobbles but pretty good. The left hand was a mess. I had pegs flying off the table that I knocked into or I couldn’t get them into the little holes. I couldn’t flip them the right way to get them so they were held in my hands correctly to line up with the home. I said that was ugly at the end and even the therapist turned around and said yeah, that was ugly. One thing I could say I knew exactly where my problems were.

So come Monday I start OT. I’ll be doing putty stretching and putty molding in my hands. I will do lots of peg stuff in and out of holes and stacking on each other. A lot of fine motor skills for the hands. OT is going to work on my upper body where physical therapy worked on my core and my lower extremities.

Come July 1 I’m enrolled in Medicare so I get to start all over again with both physical therapy and occupational therapy to get me through to January. Then I get to start all over again for the new year. Even though I find physical therapy very hard and I don’t think occupational therapy is going to be easier by any means, I know the exercises make a difference.

5 thoughts on “Occupational therapy evaluation…OT differs from PT

  1. They absolutely do help! Especially when you do the exercises in between appointments. Occupational therapy also helps with activities of daily living. I currently have a home program for both PT and OT. Even though I can’t do the exercises very well with my right hand and foot, I still attempt it as my brain is still trying to tell my body what to do.

  2. I have basal thumb arthritis and I have a lot of difficulty with pinching and I test at 5 is what the OT gal told me…what does that mean?

      1. yes all my OT told me was I was at 5 with the pressure I pinched so whatever that means …I was told that is low

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