Occupational Therapy helps disabled persons achieving a good quality of life and earn a good living with activity modification and workplace management. Now before knowing the role of occupational therapy or OT in orthopedics, you must know what is occupational therapy.From what I have read and understood in the past years, occupational therapy means enabling people having physical/mental disabilities or abnormalities to achieve a good functioning life and helping those disabled individuals live their life independently and helping them earn a good living by assessing the injury sustained and treating it with the help of splints, orthotics, ergonomic evaluation, modifications at workplace and managing it.Do you want to become an occupational therapist An occupational therapist assisting a disbled patient. An informational chart showing ergonomic modifications of the workstation to help prevent reinjury.

Role of occupational therapists in orthopedics

Occupational therapists role consists of Assessment, Planning, Implementation, and evaluation of management. In management, primary role is improving the skills in activities of daily living, work, play, and leisure.


Designing and Fabrication of Hand Splints. Occupational therapists are considered as specialists worldwide, with added practical knowledge in hand rehabilitation and training. They have advantage over orthotist who also makes an orthosis.Designing and fabrication of adaptive devices which helps the disabled people to be independent in their function.Occupational therapists are specialists in Hand Function Training, since work requires more of good hand function, occupational therapists are trained well in hand function management.Occupational therapists are also ergonomic consultants who make modifications at workplace, make modifications of working method, make adaptive devices to make sure that work is done without much difficulty. Occupational therapists are generally trained in functional capacity evaluations, job analysis, work hardening, work conditioning, and vocational training programs.Most commonly used approaches by Occupational Therapists are humanistic, psychosocial, compensatory, and biomechanical.


Work Hardening is a work-oriented treatment program and the outcome is measured in terms of the improvement in the client’s productivity. It is a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach that uses graded work stimulation to address the biomedical and psychosocial problems of the injured worker. Improvement in productivity is achieved through graded activity designed to increase work tolerances, improve work rate, master pain, improve work habits, and increase confidence and proficiency with work adaptations or assistive devices. It involves the client in highly structured, simulated work tasks in an environment in which expectations for basic worker behaviors (timeliness, attendance, and dress) are in keeping with workplace standards. Program duration varies from 2 to 12 weeks with daily participation ranging from 2 to 8 hours.

Treatment includes client education through discussion, demonstration, active participation, and visual aids. Topics include anatomy of the spine, body mechanics, energy conservation, relaxation techniques, and weight reduction, if appropriate. relaxation techniques include progressive relaxation techniques, meditation, increased body awareness, and control of breathing and muscle tension.Modalities used include a balanced monitor that provides feedback on weightbearing and symmetry of posture. A multi-workstation simulates construction jobs. The truck simulator uses a truck cab along with a computerized video road screen to simulate and measure the driving process. A computerized pneumatic lift has been designed to simulate lifting process. An upper extremity work simulator similar to the BTE (Baltimore Therapeutic Equipment) is used to simulate various upper extremity work tasks.


Occupational Therapists at steps rehab centre offer approaches that specifically seek to assess and extend functional and social capabilities They operate in domains that deliberately overlap with each of the other therapy approaches and with everyday care tasks.

Their role centres around creating functional progress that is meaningful in the context of the individual’s life. This includes social and vocational activities as well as establishing independent dressing and other self-care tasks, addressing functional household tasks such as making meals and drinks, laundry and cleaning.

In all areas the emphasis is on using existing skills, developing and improving abilities and using compensations and strategies where appropriate.

The expertise of occupational therapy is particularly seen in the integration of specific level of skill and necessary challenge with appropriately paced progression toward achieving short and long term goals. for rehabilitation for various neurological conditions like head injury, stroke, GBS, MD,CP and many more.


When a client has got an uncomplicated injury and his/her physical limitations are precluding return to work, work conditioning may be an appropriate intervention. Work conditioning is typically provided as a uni-disciplinary or bi-disciplinary occupational and/or physical therapy half-day program that uses exercise, aerobic conditioning, education, and limited work tasks to restore an individual’s systemic and neuromusculoskeletal function like endurance, strength, flexibility, movement, and motor control, so that the clients can return to their work or become physically re-conditioned, so that vocational services can be commenced.