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Health and Fitness

Which is Better, Physiotherapy or Occupational Therapy? Why?

Occupational therapy primarily focuses on the regular movement of small muscles of our body, which is medically termed as Fine Motor Skill. Occupational therapist corrects the quality of involvement in their regular functional tasks.

Physiotherapy completely focuses on an individual’s large muscle movement which is medically termed as The Gross motor skill. They improve the quality of movement of our body.

Physiotherapy:  A therapeutic intervention for Gross motor skill which involves taking part of the full body and that is associated with big muscles of the body for daily functions.

Our everyday basic functions are Standing, sitting upright, running, and walking.

Gross-motor skill also related to hand-eye coordination. Without having the right gross motor skill children feel uncomfortable while playing with friends at the same playground. Physiotherapists have adequate training to handle this kind of children’s complication. This kind of problem among children and young adults causes injury and disabilities. In this case, physiotherapists develop a customized treatment plan based on their symptoms. The main objective of the treatment plan is to correct patients’ movements and  inhibit the further increase of the conditions.

Physiotherapy is also a good medical intervention that reduces pain and  regains core functionality of the muscle. Long term physiotherapy intervention has the power to cut off the requirement of surgeries in future.

Physiotherapists not only deal with younger adult associated problems, rather they treat problems related to paediatrics.  Physiotherapist can work with children’s physical movements and their whole-body movements essential for their daily living. They make their movement stable and safe to avoid unnecessary sudden falls that may cause injuries. All the movements involve large muscles of the body and these are specially called “Gross Motor skill”.

Physiotherapists’ sole intention to provide their patients with adequate mobility and independence as much as possible. Therefore, they standardized their training in this way that the patient gets optimum guidance. Physiotherapy medical interventions are more about movements, alignment, posture, and safety. They also take care of body movements and musculoskeletal problems because they acquire in-depth knowledge of human musculoskeletal, cardiovascular system, neuromuscular integumentary during their course of knowledge.

They consider patients’ ailment and impairment from a biomechanical perspective and cure them through stretching, bending exercises. The impairment improves with time while muscles gain enough mobility, therefore decreasing pain.


  • Physiotherapist work on
  • Gross motor skill
  • Functional mobility
  • Muscle endurance
  • Core strength
  • Coordination and balance
  • Pain management and flexibility
  • Wound care
  • Assistive technology
  • Motor regulation and planning

Occupational Therapy:  The therapy only targets fine motor skills that involve only small muscles of the hands. Fine motor skill is important for children, specifically for younger adults to perform their daily activities and academic tasks in school.

Self-grooming means getting dressed, brushing teeth, opening lunch boxes and playing with clay and so on.  Children have to do academic tasks in their art and craft session such as drawing, writing, holding pen and pencil with their finger, and typing.

If they feel problems while doing these activities, their parents need to talk with an occupational therapist. Occupational therapy is a branch that is derived from physiotherapy combiningbehavioural science, and injury care.

  • Occupational therapy includes:
  • Improvement of functional activities
  • Motor nerve coordination skill
  • Enhancement of Visual power
  • Correcting cognitive behaviour.

The main objective of occupational therapy is to help patients feel comfortable while doing their regular activities that involve small muscles. Paediatric Occupational therapy is very helpful for overall growth, learning ability, and playing for kids.

OTs generally intend to provide solutions that help patients to do their regular activities like household chores, office chores, and play skill effortlessly. They make it easy to use smaller muscles of the body which are often named as fine motors which offer postural balance and stability. TO make regular activities meaningful and improve quality of life.

It is quite natural that occupations for children and adults are pretty different. Children’s occupations are learning, playing, and socializing. All these things stimulate their brain development process, correct cognitive disabilities and speed up the recovery process from injury which disturbed their motor skills, emotional balance. Paediatric OT helps children to fully engage in their daily life.

Occupational therapists are famous for their analysing power and adaptation. OT’s learn “Just right challenge” in their course of training where they learn how to push a patient to learn a new skill gradually. If a person’s any kind of impairment affects the power of involvement in their functional task, OT treats them , and finds the approach to solve the complication; Sometimes they promote “ “The Method of Abilitation”.

They help patients to become more organized, and encourage their sensory integration ability (Retrieving and interpreting complex information from the environment)

Particular working areas of occupational therapists are:

  • Fine motor skill
  • Cognitive behaviour
  • Self-Grooming
  • Sensory processing abilities
  • Attention improvement
  • Selfcare, body awareness, and motor planning
  • Hand -eye coordination

Occupational therapy or physiotherapy: What to choose?

Comparison is not possible because both of them are best at their field. But we would say collaboration and combination may work wonders. Yes. If they work together, they will find out more advanced therapeutic intervention. For example, if you have wrist pain, they will develop a targeted series of hand therapy exercises to heal your hand faster.


Author Bio:

Akshay Sharma is a social media marketing enthusiast and has written on many topics in this and related fields. He works with Mind Digital Group – an independent digital and web development company.

You can follow him on twitter and Facebook to know more.

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