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Occupational therapy

Labor therapy is the use of labor processes as a therapeutic factor. It is widely used in traumatology , orthopedics, and neurology to improve the overall tone of the body, to prepare the patient to perform his professional activities. Occupational therapy contributes to the speedy recovery of the function of the affected limbs, both after injury and after surgery. In neurological patients, occupational therapy contributes to the restoration of speech, the elimination of residual effects after paralysis, paresis, etc. The value of occupational therapy is also due to the elements of creativity and competition in it.

Physical labor (with the participation of most of the skeletal muscles) in the open air (work in the garden, vegetable garden, etc.) should be dosed so that the load on the body ranges from minimal to very significant values. This kind of occupational therapy is indicated in the initial stages of hypertension , with obesity, gout , during the period of recovery from infectious diseases, etc. Labor therapy brings especially great benefit to people engaged in mental work leading a sedentary lifestyle. Occupational therapy as a therapeutic measure should be prescribed on the basis of individual characteristics, taking into account gender, age, nature of the disease, etc.

To provide local impact, occupational therapy is prescribed mainly for lesions of the upper limb, causing disturbance of the movements of the fingers and hand. In such cases, the patient must perform more subtle work, not accompanied by severe physical exertion, but requiring the use of complex and minor movements (knitting, cutting on wood, drilling, planing, etc.). At the same time, occupational therapy is combined with medical physical culture (see). Work therapy in psychiatry - see below.


Labor therapy is used in combination with the treatment of the underlying disease by pharmacological and other means.

Labor therapy for the mentally ill is one of the most important methods of treating and restoring their working ability . Labor therapy can reduce and compensate for mental defects that occur during the course of the disease and increase in connection with the factor of inaction, which depends both on the characteristics of mental illness and on the lengthy stay of patients in hospitals.

The value of occupational therapy at different stages of mental illness varies. During the periods of existence of pronounced mental disorders, occupational therapy is an individual work in the simplest forms, which is used only as part of the daily routine as one of the types of patient's free time organization. In some cases, occupational therapy during these periods is not applied at all. As the symptoms of the disease subside, the role of occupational therapy increases. During this period, it is already a method of restoring work, preparing the patient either to continue his previous work activity, or (in case the patient loses the ability to work in the former specialty) is used to prepare him for employment in a special organization under medical supervision. At this, the second, stage, the forms of work therapy become more complex and diverse. Individual tasks are replaced by collective ones, i.e. the patient now performs some part of the overall task. Previously, occupational therapy was carried out almost exclusively within the walls of the hospital department, but now, during the hours of occupational therapy, patients have the opportunity to work in medical workshops specially organized at hospitals.

Labor therapy in outpatient clinics is carried out in specially organized medical and labor workshops, day hospitals, special rooms, dispensaries. The system of organizing the work of the mentally ill, associated both with the hospital and with the production, is called social readaptation ( rehabilitation ).

The use of psychotropic drugs in the treatment of psychoses allows one to begin the application of work therapy earlier, expands the range of indications for its use, makes it possible to make it more diverse.