Healing Hands Therapy

Why does Occupational Therapy Matters For Pain Management?

Occupational therapy is an evidence-based practice proven to be an effective intervention in pain management. It is the art and science of helping people improve their ability to do everyday activities. By fostering independence in daily tasks, occupational therapists help clients achieve a higher quality of life. The overall theme is to combine direct treatment for pain reduction with skill development in pain management so that people can live as fully and actively as possible. 

From the WHO to the NIH and the CDC and in many other government institutions occupational therapy is recognized as a viable treatment for pain management. Occupational therapy is sometimes called the “other therapy,” or even somewhat understated in importance, so much so that many people are unaware of the role of occupational therapy in pain management. 

The following blog post will provide a basic understanding of occupational therapy and its approach to working with individuals with acute or chronic pain. Occupational therapists emphasize holistic, individualized evaluation and treatment, encourage a multidisciplinary team approach, and emphasize the importance of a working partnership with each client.


How Can Occupational Therapy Help You Manage Pain?

If you have chronic pain, occupational therapy can be an important part of your pain management strategy. Occupational therapists are skilled at helping people integrate new skills and routines into their experiences – a benefit not often found in other healthcare specialties.

Occupational therapy is best known for helping people with disabilities and chronic conditions develop the skills needed to participate in daily life independently. But it also helps people with acute pain or injuries who may need help recovering from surgery or dealing with post-surgical restrictions.

Occupational therapists use many different occupational therapy pain management techniques to guide patients through this process, such as:

  • Education: Understanding how your injury or condition affects your body and activities will help you make choices that support your recovery while avoiding further harm
  • Exercise: Physical activity can decrease inflammation and increase blood flow, which can reduce pain
  • Mindfulness: Using focused attention on the present moment rather than thoughts about past events or future concerns can alleviate some types of chronic pain

Occupational therapists have a unique perspective on the patient’s experience with pain because they are trained to understand the relationship between body, mind, and environment (known as “biopsychosocial”). Their interventions focus on helping people manage their health and well-being holistically by incorporating their lives physical, emotional, and social aspects. To understand occupational therapy pain management strategies work, also read, How do Occupational Therapists Support Patients with Chronic Pain?

Occupational therapy interventions for pain tend to be short-term, but they can be incredibly effective. For example:

  1. Stress management techniques can help reduce stress responses that increase muscle tension and joint stiffness.
  2. Fibromyalgia education helps patients reduce their risk of developing depression or anxiety.
  3. Pain coping strategies help patients manage their experience of pain without relying on medication or other forms of treatment.
  4. Occupational therapists also work with their clients to address sleep issues, including pain and discomfort. They help clients make modifications to their environment and teach them relaxation techniques. They also educate them about sleep hygiene and provide training to promote better sleep. Oftentimes, they will provide occupational therapy mattress assessments.



We hope this blog gives you a new perspective on how occupational therapy can help you manage chronic pain. We have listed some quick takeaways that give you an idea of this whole blog at a glance.

The overall theme of occupational Therapy is to combine direct treatment for pain reduction with skill development in pain management so that people can live as fully and actively as possible. 

An occupational Therapist approach includes:

  • They set goals that are client-centered and occupation-based
  • They also encourage positive health habits, roles, and routines, as well as help clients, use proactive problem-solving techniques to prevent pain onset through self-management techniques. 
  • OTs must teach ways to avoid fear-avoidance, avoid tasks due to fear of pain, and encourage energy conservation, such as by doing tasks in a way that minimizes pain.

If you are looking for Occupational Therapy in CT, USAHealing Hand Therapy Center is the place to go! Heather Mogielnicki is a skilled OT who helps clients affected by trauma, mental health issues, learning disabilities, or physical disabilities. At our clinic, she uses both scientific treatment methods and intuitive energy healing to help people discover their true potential. So, look no further and book your consultation with us today!

Want to find out if Occupational Therapy is right for you? Check out our blog: Who Needs Occupational Therapy?








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