Occupational therapists help improve function of people facing challenges with daily living activities, due to physical injury, illness, disease or the aging process. Occupational therapy is for individuals of all ages-to improve skills that help them perform tasks at home and at school, at work and at play.
The Division of Occupational Therapy at the University of Michigan offers a team approach to help patients reach their daily living goals, under the care of licensed occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants, certified therapeutic recreation specialists and support staff.
Our Occupational therapists have specialized skills and training to comprehensively evaluate and treat both children and adults with a wide variety of conditions including:
- Arthritic Conditions
- Cognitive and Visual Perceptual impairments
- Complications of Cancer Treatment
- Developmental disabilities (Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Sensory Integration)
- Gross and fine motor deficits
- Neurological disorders (Stroke, Traumatic brain injury)
- Neuromuscular diseases and movement disorders (Parkinsons, MS)
- Overuse Injuries (Osteoarthritis, Tennis elbow, Carpal tunnel)
- Spasticity & Contractures
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Upper extremity trauma, fractures, sprains and strains
We work with patients in both inpatient and outpatient settings. While in the hospital, our occupational therapists conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the patient, discuss lifestyle and goals and create a plan of what can be accomplished in order to facilitate function and safety at home. The occupational therapist also makes recommendations for ongoing rehabilitation in either an outpatient or home setting.
In outpatient Occupational Therapy, treatment begins with a comprehensive evaluation to assess current abilities and needs, as well as lifestyle and personal goals. Based on the findings, an individualized treatment plan is developed with input from both the patient and their family. Several treatment approaches are used in outpatient therapy, all with the ultimate goal of maximizing patients’ function and independence in their daily activities. The first is to rehabilitate and restore function through the use of physical, cognitive, perceptual and functional activities. A second approach involves teaching compensatory techniques such as utilizing adaptive equipment to improve function in order to maximize ability to participate in home, work and school activities. The third involves preventative education in order to facilitate the patient’s understanding of their condition and how to maintain improvements and avoid future problems. Treatment may be rendered in the outpatient clinic, community or patients’ home.
Specialty programs/treatment in Occupational Therapy include:
- CHAMP- Comprehensive Hand & Arm Movement Program (Pediatrics)
- Chronic Pain Program
- Constraint-Induced Therapy (Adult)
- Custom Upper Extremity Orthotics & SAEBO splint fitting/training
- Driving Evaluations through our DRIVE-ABILITY PROGRAM
- Hand Therapy Program
- Home Accessibility and Safety evaluations and modifications
- Lymphedema Management
- M-PERFORM, our Multidisciplinary Performing Artists Program
- Neuromuscular Stimulation using Bioness, NMES & FES bike use
- Neurorehabilitation & Spinal Cord Injury programs
- Rehabilitation Technology Program using a mobile computer cart
- Serial & Inhibitory Casting
- Sensory Integrative Evaluations & Treatment
- Upper Extremity Prosthetics training for people with Amputations
Our hand therapy and lymphedema staff include nationally certified therapists who have specialized and advanced training in the evaluation and treatment of upper extremity problems and edema. The hand therapists not only address orthopedic issues, but are also experts in function. They utilize a variety of treatment activities in an effort to return patients to independent functioning at home and work.