What is occupational therapy?

Occupational therapists help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations).

Common occupational therapy interventions include helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy services also include recommendations for adaptive equipment and training in its use, and guidance and education for family members and caregivers.

Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective. They focus on adapting the environment to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team.

Occupational therapy services typically include:

  • an individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals
  • customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach their goals
  • an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met, and/or to make changes to the intervention plan.

Occupational therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, and prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, or disability.

Why choose UCHealth for occupational therapy?

At UCHealth facilities along the Front Range, occupational therapists (OTs) are committed to helping you recover quickly so you become independent and active as soon as possible.

Specialized OT services

Hand and upper extremity therapy

Certified Hand Therapists (CHTs) provide individualized rehabilitation for various upper extremity injuries and conditions ranging from carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and other chronic conditions to fractures, trauma, and burns. Services include customized splinting and post-operative management. We also offer conservative/non-operative treatment such as ergonomic assessment, therapeutic exercises and training, and symptom management.

Low vision rehabilitation

This program uses a team approach combining ophthalmology and occupational therapy services. The occupational therapy evaluation focuses on assessing the functional limitations experienced by the patient due to the vision loss. Occupational therapy treatment emphasizes training the patient to use remaining vision as efficiently and effectively as possible to complete daily activities. Certified Low Vision Therapists (CLVTs and SCLVs) instruct individuals in the efficient use of remaining vision with optical devices, non-optical devices, and assistive technology, and can help determine the need for environmental modifications in the home, workplace, or school.

Neurologic dysfunction therapy

Specialized therapies are available for individuals with a neurological diagnosis and/or complex medical issues. These might be patients recovering from strokes, traumatic brain injuries, and neurological diseases like Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We take a patient-centered approach to building independence in the activities of daily living. Our therapists have extensive experience and expertise in working exclusively with patients who have neurological impairments. Multidisciplinary programs are also available for patients needing multiple therapies.

Lymphedema therapy

Our therapists help patients manage severe swelling in the arms and legs (lymphedema) or other areas of the body by using manual lymph drainage and low-stretch compression bandaging techniques.

Oncology rehabilitation

Reduces side effects, related to cancer and cancer treatments, such as muscle or joint pain, joint stiffness, fatigue, issues with talking or swallowing, bowel and bladder problems, women’s sexual dysfunction and pelvic pain, memory problems, and balance, to help to improve the quality of life for a person with cancer, both during and after treatment.

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