A lot of people are confused on what the differences are between Occupational Therapists (OTs) and Physical Therapists (PTs).

Both do vital hands-on rehabilitative work to help patients with injuries or disabilities that limit how they how they are able to function in their daily lives.

The main difference between OTs and PTs is that OTs focus on improving the client’s ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL). On the other hand, PTs focus is to improve the client’s ability to perform various movements of the human body.

Physical Therapy

Physical Therapists primarily work with patients who are recovering from injuries. They try to improve the state of their patient and get them back in the motion using exercises, massages, and other techniques. They focus on preventing injuries and can even help people avoid surgery as well as preventing long-term reliance on medications.

To help you concretize it, here is an example: You love jogging with your family, but you can’t anymore due to a herniated disc. Your physical therapist will work with you to create a specific treatment program that will speed up your recovery, including exercises and stretches that you can do at home.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapists helps treat the whole person. Compared to PTs who primarily focus on physical injuries, OTs are unique such that they use a holistic approach to look not only at whether their patients are recovering from physical injuries, but also at developmental or cognitive disabilities which may affect their motor skills, emotions, and even behavior.


An example for occupational therapists would be: You recently injured your foot after training and can no longer participate in your upcoming game this Wednesday. While recovering, you could meet with an OT to get to the root of why you look forward to playing this Wednesday. Is it the exercise that’s important? Is it engaging with the people on your team? Your OT will help you to accomplish your goal.

How Does The Two Overlap?

As said earlier, although they serve different roles in healthcare, both occupations do hands-on rehabilitative work. They both educate people on how to prevent and avoid injuries, as well as the healing process. Furthermore, they both assist their patients with improving their ability to perform daily activities through training and education.


Patients may start with a physical therapist and progress to an occupational therapist. For example, someone recovering from a severe stroke might work with a physical therapist to build back muscle strength. Later on, that person would see an occupational therapist to practice basic skills the stroke may have impaired such as, bathing, dressing, eating and walking.


Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists are both vital roles in medical facilities. Various people require their assistance every year. SeeYouDoc, an online platform where you can book appointments with medical practitioners.

If you are an occupational therapist, physical therapist, or a medical practitioner, you can register at https://portal.seeyoudoc.com/register-practitioner/ to become part of SeeYouDoc’s roster of doctors! As a medical practitioner, with SeeYouDoc, you can decrease the number of idle patients in your clinic, and increase your number of appointments.


References: All Allied Health Schools