Occupational Therapy

occupational-therapy-patchogue-nyOccupational therapy is an evidence-based treatment deeply rooted in science. It’s a proven therapy that works in the real world. Interventions include helping people to recover and regain skills from an injury, helping children with disabilities participate in school and social arenas and helping seniors improve cognitive and physical skills. An occupational plan is all-inclusive and includes:

  • An individual evaluation to determine patient goals
  • Customized intervention activities to improve daily tasks and activities for the patient
  • An outcomes evaluation to determine if goals were met and to make changes to the plan if needed

Just like physical therapy, occupational therapy also addresses the patient’s ability to perform movements of the body, however, it also takes into consideration the patient’s ability to perform daily living, work, and leisure activities. For example, a stroke patient will work with both physical and occupational therapists to build back mobility and muscle strength, but in addition, occupational therapists will work with the patient to practice functional activities such as walking, eating, bathing, dressing, grasping objects, typing, handwriting, etc. These fields do have some similarities and work very well in conjunction with one another. One is a perfect fit with the other.

Hand Therapy

Hand therapy is a specialized area of occupational therapy. It focuses on treating orthopedic and neurological upper-extremity issues to optimize the functional use of the arm and hand. Common conditions that affect the hand are lacerations, amputations, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, fractures and rheumatoid arthritis. In general, hand therapy focuses on the biomechanical issues of upper-extremity conditions. It’s a patient-centered approach that addresses the needs of the patient, such as being able to lift objects, open a jar, or button a shirt.

Hand therapy interventions by an occupational therapist may include therapeutic exercises, mirror therapy, orthosis design (splinting), pain management, manual therapy, taping, ergonomics, and compression therapy. Activities for a hand injury with an occupational therapist may include working with putty, using a gripper, using dumbbells, tying shoes, and manipulating coins.

The benefits of hand therapy are many:

  •   Preventative, non-operative or conservative treatment
  •   Management of acute or chronic pain
  •   Desensitization following nerve injury or trauma
  •   Sensory re-education after nerve injury
  •   Design and implementation of home exercise programs to increase motion, dexterity, and/or strength
  •   Customized splint fabrication for prevention or correction of injury
  •   Training in the performance of daily life skills through adapted methods and equipment
  •   Post-surgical evaluation and intervention
  •   Conditioning prior to returning to work

Overall, occupational therapy goes beyond addressing injuries. It includes the whole person’s functional needs and implements activities to promote psychological well-being. According to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), in addition to dealing with an individual’s physical well-being, Occupational Therapy practitioners address psychological, social and environmental factors that may hinder an individual’s functioning in different ways. For example, occupational therapy for a young patient may include using a special tool to make cupcakes at home. If an adaptation to a utensil needs to be fashioned, an occupational therapist will do it. This unique approach makes occupational therapy a vital part of health care for patients. People just feel better emotionally when they can engage in everyday activities and their hobbies.

Do you have an injury or medical condition that is causing pain and limiting your daily activities? Would you like to learn more about how occupational therapy and physical therapy can help you eliminate your pain and improve performance? We’ll educate you and be happy to set up a one-on-one consultation. Make a request today to visit us at our physical therapy Patchogue NY office. Our certified and caring therapists are committed to helping you get on the road to recovery. Feel better and get back to your life with occupational therapy and physical therapy.

Custom Splinting

Custom splinting, while it is a challenging skill to master, is something that we are proud to say we offer here at ProCare. A splint, also known as orthosis, is a piece of medical equipment that is used as a way to keep an injured body part immobile during the healing process, in order to protect it from further damage. An orthosis may be defined as “static,” meaning they prevent motion altogether, or “dynamic,” meaning they allow for functional, controlled motions.

Through the advanced training and skills of our Occupational Therapist/Certified Hand Therapist Amanda Paracat, we are able to offer custom splinting in-house, which is something that many rehabilitation clinics simply are not able to offer.

Some common conditions that may require splinting of the upper extremities include, but are not limited to:

• Fractures
• Dislocations
• Sprains and strains
• Wounds
• Contractures
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
• Nerve injuries
• Tendinitis
• Lymphedema

You may be wondering, “Why is custom splinting so important?” According to the American Family Physician, “splinting is the preferred method of immobilization in the acute care setting,” because splints are faster and easier to apply. They also state that splints allow for the “natural swelling that occurs during the initial inflammatory phase of the injury.” This helps the affected area heal quicker and regain function more effectively than a cast might. By offering this in-house, we are able to get you started on that process ASAP!

Schedule an evaluation with Amanda today!

Meet Our Occupational Therapist and Certified Hand Therapist

Amanda Paracat, MS, OTR/L, CHT, Co-founder ProCare Occupational Therapy & Physical Therapy, PLLC attended The University of Scranton where she received her Bachelors’s Degree in Health Sciences. She also completed her Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy at the University of Scranton in 2014. Amanda has always had an interest in working in hand therapy and feels that individuals all over the world communicate with others and their environment through the use of their hands. Throughout her schooling, she enjoyed making splints and was intrigued by the extensive anatomy involved in hand therapy and decided to pursue her interest as a hand therapist at Signature Hand Therapy, and at Glen Cove Hospital: an affiliate of Northwell Health. She completed her advanced specialization in 2018 and became a Certified Hand Therapist. As a therapist, Amanda focuses on returning her clients to their previous level of functioning and works with her clients to regain the skills they need to participate in everyday tasks including work, leisure, and play activities. Amanda is also an RYT500 hour certified yoga instructor and has a keen interest in maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle in the mind, body, and spirit.