Occupational and Physical Therapists are not the same. Each has gone to post-graduate schools to obtain degrees in either Occupational Therapy or Physical Therapy.
Though the two disciplines often times work closely together, they have different theories of practice and use different modalities in order to achieve results with their patient population.
Occupational Therapists (OT) are experts in functional Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). ADLs are the activities that a person participates in on a daily basis to take care of themselves. Dressing, eating/feeding, cooking, driving, checkbook management, shopping, fine motor tasks are all broad examples of what an OT might work on. Treatment sessions are usually task driven and involve real-life situations and simulations. As holistic practitioners, OTs may also address the psychosocial issues of a patient. This is a unique characteristic of OTs as part of the rehabilitation team.
Physical Therapists (PTs) are also concerned with functional activities but approach their treatment from a biomechanical perspective. Walking, balance, range-of-motion, endurance and strength are some of the areas of concern for PTs with their patients. By addressing these areas, the patient will be more likely to participate in independent self-care.