Difference Between Occupational and Physical Therapy (With Table)

Therapies are provided to those who are suffering from injuries or ailments. Both the therapies-occupational and physical care provided by professionals who have been qualified in the respective domains. Both therapies are used in treating people and help them have a better life. Though both are methods of therapy, they do have certain differences.

Occupational Therapy vs Physical Therapy

The difference between Occupational and physical therapy is that physical therapist is those concerned in helping a person recover from a physical injury whereas occupational therapist is those who helped with people have some disabilities with regard to their skills. These therapies help people who have certain disabilities that stop them from having a normal routine.

Occupational therapy is concerned with those who require therapy when they are extremely injured or ill. When the sickness is associated with their routines, and it stops them from pursuing a normal healthy lifestyle, they require an occupational therapist. These therapists help them by making the everyday activities a small therapeutic session for them to perform.

Physical therapy is a study of therapy that involves the study of physical features of the body. These people specialize in the functioning of the body. Physical therapy is suggested to those who had a physical injury by accident. Those people who recover from a fracture or a tissue torsion due to accidents are advised to take physical therapy sessions to recover.

Comparison Table Between Occupational and Physical Therapy

Parameters of ComparisonOccupational TherapyPhysical Therapy
DefinitionIt is a therapy that involves the treatment of injured and sick people through basic day-to-day therapies.It involves therapists who work with patients with their physical movement and aid in the betterment of their pain through exercise.
ExpensesIt is a bit more expensive when compared to an average with physical therapy.It is quite affordable when compared to occupational therapy.
Deals withIt deals with coping with stressful situations and other disabilities associated with health.It deals with chronic physical health issues.
ReductionThis helps in reducing the trauma and falls.It helps in better recovery from a physical injury and reduces pain in the injured site.
ActivitiesThe activities include dressing, bathing, and other day-to-day routines.These activities include mild exercises that help income back to your normal routine swiftly.

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy involves therapy for disabled and ill people. These therapies help people to resume their happy lifestyles by involving few day-to-day chores in their routines. These occupational therapy specialists help in recovering from stress and depression as well. Occupational therapists work with close association with disabled people in order to help them cope up with the routine lifestyle.

Occupational therapy is useful for those who are undergoing a hard time coping with various troubles, including speech disorder or any other disability of the basic senses that is required for a normal lifestyle. In these cases, these people meet an occupational therapist to assist them in making them co-operate and get along with society.

These therapists co-operate and study these people to help them with their chores. They also help in psychological ways and help to build a person both mentally and physically. In cases, there are also chances for prescribing medicines for in-take as it is quite hard to treat extreme conditions.

Occupational therapies are performed on different kinds of people, and these people include children and those with autism. There are also geriatric therapies that help with Alzheimer’s and mental health situations. Those people with mental health instabilities can meet the therapists for treatment.

What is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapies are provided to those people who have undergone accidents and possess physical injury in their bodies. With the rising trend, accidents have become common where people get multiple physical injuries in their bodies. This is when physical therapists come to aid.

Ortho doctors help with physical injury and fractures. And then followed that in order to ensure recovery at a faster pace, physical therapy is prescribed. Physical therapy involves different activities and mild exercises for relaxation of the muscles and joints.

Physical therapy sessions help a person practice the exercise required for a speedy recovery. Physical therapies help in various ways for a patient. These therapists are available at different health care centers such as rehab centers, hospitals, government health care centers.

Physical therapies help in pain relief at the site of injury, and it helps in avoiding a surgical method. It helps in improving a balance in physical activities. It is extremely useful in older people who require physical exercise in a balanced way. It is also provided to those who require recovery from physical ailments caused due to stroke or paralysis. Physical therapists help in personalized therapy sessions for each person depending on their previous medications taken.

Main Differences Between Occupational and Physical Therapy

  1. Physical therapies are usually on the affordable side when compared to those of occupational therapy.
  2. Occupational therapy helps in dealing with chronic illness or conditions such as stress, whereas physical therapy helps in aiding people with physical injury.
  3. Occupational therapy reduces trauma and stress, whereas physical therapy, on the other hand, helps in relieving physical pain.
  4. Occupational therapy is expensive when taken an average sum when compared to that physical therapy.
  5. The activities in physical therapy include mild exercise to ease the pain, whereas daily chores are a part of occupational therapy.


Both therapies aid in the betterment of the lives of mankind. But they do have significant differences that have to be addressed. There is a number of differences including varying price range, therapist studies, and activities that are provided to a person to perform in a therapy session. These therapy sessions help people to recover from their illness and lead a happy life. This also aids in a lot of lifestyle moderation. Physical therapies are provided to those having traumatic injuries in their body. They also help in quite a lot of stuff, including presuming the life of an individual to normal healthy routines.


  1. https://www.elsevier.com/books/introduction-to-occupational-therapy/obrien/978-0-323-44448-4
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6709610/
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