The Role of OT in Pain Management
Current research suggests that effective management of pain requires a biopsychosocial approach by an interdisciplinary healthcare team. Occupational Therapists are specifically trained in the biopsychosocial approach, and so are uniquely qualified to provide pain management.
Occupational Therapists aim to help people understand their chronic pain from this broad perspective and become successful self-managers of their condition and symptoms. They offer a practical approach to pain management and can integrate a range of interventions and approaches into a comprehensive and do-able long-term plan.
Occupational Therapists help to put the life back into living – despite pain and other symptoms! They support people in pain to gradually increase their participation in daily activities that are meaningful and valuable to them (such as self-care, socializing, work and leisure) by:
- Providing practical strategies and training in relevant skills
- Identifying and reducing barriers to participation in activities
- Setting goals that grow confidence to cope with daily life
- Supporting lifestyle changes that make managing pain easier
- Implementing work rehabilitation
- Facilitating remaining at or returning to work
- Improving balance and quality of life.
So, YOU may need Occupational therapy if pain is:
- Preventing you from engaging in the things you love and value
- Interfering with your work
- Causing sleep problems
- Disrupting your daily routine and other health practices (e.g. physical activity)
- Affecting your relationships and capacity to socialise
- Contributing to feelings of anxiety and depression
- Making you aware of the need to change your lifestyle
- Not adequately managed by medication or other interventions you’ve tried
To learn more about Occupational Therapy as a profession, follow the link below to the Occupational Therapy Association of South Africa – OTASA
If this is YOU, please contact us or go to the RESOURCES tab to learn more about where you can find a pain-informed Occupational Therapist.