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Occupational Therapy

OT uses everyday activities as the measure to develop the skills that will enable a person to get beyond their disability or injury, with a focus on maintaining or rebuilding independence.

Occupational Therapists assist patients in regaining self care skills including dressing, bathing, grooming, and eating. We recommend adaptive equipment and environmental changes to help improve patient abilities. Therapists also work with patients with a variety of upper extremity conditions and address edema control, pain management, range of motion and strength.

Occupational therapy addresses the patient’s physical well being, and the individual’s psychological, social and environmental factors that affect independent functioning in daily living. This unique perspective makes occupational therapy a unique and critically important part of a health care program. Occupational therapists are often consulted when a functional aspect of the patient’s lifestyle has been interrupted due to a stroke, head injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, hip replacement or other medical illness.

Occupational therapist work with a wide spectrum of individuals across the lifespan with a variety of impairments including:

  • stroke and other neurological conditions
  • arthritis
  • cancer or other debilitating diseases
  • orthopedic, work or other related injuries, particularly in the upper extremities
  • head trauma/head or spinal cord injury
  • amputation
  • burns
  • mental illness
  • developmental disabilities

Occupational therapy services are offered five days a week at Clay County Medical Center. Individuals must be referred by their physician and given a prescription for treatment, much like when a patient receives a prescription for medication. If you have concerns that you would like to address with an occupational therapist, please contact your physician or you may call the therapy department. After you have been referred by a physician, your situation will be evaluated and together the physician, patient and therapist determine goals to be accomplished and develop a plan to help achieve those goals.


Recently principles of LSVT LOUD® were applied to limb movement in people with Parkinson disease (LSVT BIG®) and have been documented to be effective in the short term. Specifically, training increased amplitude of limb and body movement (Bigness) in people with Parkinson disease has documented improvements in amplitude (trunk rotation/gait) that generalized to improved speed (upper/lower limbs), balance, and quality of life. In addition, people were able to maintain these improvements when challenged with a dual task.

LSVT BIG can be delivered by a physical or occupational therapist. Treatment is administered in 16 sessions over a single month (four individual 60 minute sessions per week). This protocol was developed specifically to address the unique movement impairments for people with Parkinson disease. The protocol is both intensive and complex, with many repetitions of core movements that are used in daily living. This type of practice is necessary to optimize learning and carryover of your better movement into everyday life!

Start exercising NOW – as soon as possible. Physicians rarely refer their patients to health and fitness programs at diagnosis because medications are very effective early on at alleviating most of the symptoms, and patients experience little change in function. Yet, according to a recent survey it is at the time of diagnosis that patients often begin to consider lifestyle changes and seek education about conventional and complementary/alternative treatment options. Thus referrals to exercise, wellness programs and physical/occupational therapy would be best initiated at diagnosis, when it may have the most impact on quality of life.