Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy aims to restore or enhance an individual’s occupational performance or level of daily function.

The term “occupation” does not exclusively refer to paid employment; it includes concepts such as personal hygiene, home management, leisure activities, and even sleep. Occupation is highly individualised and includes any activity that an individual performs.

Our Occupational Therapy team offers the following services:

-Hand Therapy
-Lymphoedema Therapy
-Student / Learner Coaching
-Psychosocial / neuro-cognitive interventions (aiding return to work)
-Functional Capacity evaluations
-Workplace intervention including job analysis, work visits and case management

Hand Therapy

The hand is an amazing, complex part of the human body, essential for all of our daily activities. Whether writing with a pen, typing on a computer or turning a screwdriver, our hands are important tools in our daily lives. When the hand and upper extremity are unable to function properly, a specialised approach is essential.

Our experienced team of therapists provide support to a wide variety of clients.  Injuries such as fractures, tendon and ligament injuries, nerve compressions, burns, amputations or conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, de Quervains tenosynovitis and arthritis are commonly treated at our practices.

1 Custom made splints for the upper extremity
Splints are designed to immobilise joints, prevent/correct deformities, provide rest and pain relief, improve function, assist in muscle re-education.

2 Edema management
Techniques commonly utilised at our practices include elevation, cold therapy, compression bandaging / garments, manual edema mobilisation, contrast bathing and movement to activate muscle pumps.

3 Custom made compression garments
Compression garments are applied for burns and traumatic hand injuries, chronic pain, amputation, edema and scar management.

4 Scar management
Techniques utilised to improve the appearance of scars within the first year of healing includes compression, silicone gel dressings, massage and desensitisation.

5 Sensory re-education
Techniques used in an attempt to retrain sensory pathways or stimulate unused pathways can include the handling of different textured objects, massage, vibration, pressure, determining joint position, identifying different temperatures and electrical stimulation.

6 Taping techniques
Facilitates the body’s natural healing process while providing support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting the body’s range of motion.

7 Therapeutic activities, range of motion, tissue mobilisation and strengthening.
These modalities are utilised to improve functional use of the upper limb and facilitate return to meaningful activities.

8 Group rehabilitation for work injuries
The aim is to strengthen clients hands and upper limb and to get them fit and strong for early return to work by making use of functional activities and simulated work tasks.

9 Assistive devices
Education is the key in managing chronic hand conditions. We stock a variety of assistive devices which are often recommended to reduce the load on joints or to promote functional independence, especially in clients with chronic hand conditions, arthritis or injuries such as amputations.

Hand Therapy Images

Lymphoedema Therapy

1 Meticulous skin care
Education regarding healthy skin and nail care is essential to avoid break of the skin or the spreading of infection in an already compromised lymphovenous limb.

2 Manual lymph drainage
A unique, gentle type of skin massage technique that promotes lymph to drain out of a limb into an area that drains normally.

3 Compression bandaging (including mobiderm and taping)
Multi layer bandages are applied to limbs with or without a padding layer to create continuous low resting pressure. It is generally used during the acute phase of lymphoedema

4 Compression garments
Used for maintenance compression therapy to prevent re-accumulation of lymphatic fluid after reduction of limb swelling

5 Home exercises including breathing exercises
Muscle and joint activity during exercise and breathing has a positive impact on lymphatic and venous return.

Learner / Student Support

Learners and students are often overwhelmed by a variety of factors during the course of preparing for their tests or exams. In addition to ever-increasing study volumes, the specific experience of each learner or student can be influenced by the most suitable learning strategy for that individual, sensory processing challenges, emotional factors (eg. anxiety or stress) and environmental factors. Our occupational therapists are uniquely positioned to offer mentorship and coaching by offering practical strategies in preparing for tests and exams, although this coaching process should be implemented well in advance,  rather than in the middle of a test or exam series in order to yield the most effective results.

The parents are also included in the coaching process, especially for learners who are younger and who requires additional guidance at home. Following an initial consultation, additional coaching sessions will be determined with the learner/ student (and parent where indicated) to help manage stressors and anxiety associated with the study journey.

For further enquiries, please send a request to fce@therapyinaction.co.za, titled “Request for study coaching”  to arrange an initial consultation.

Learner / Student Support

1 Sensory Profiling
Sensory profiling is used as part of the study coaching process to assist the learner/student to overcome sensory challenges which may influence optimal learning. Once a profile has been completed, a debriefing consultation is administered to discuss the findings and offer further guidance to optimise the learner/student’s learning experience.

2 Study coaching
Our study coaching process involves a multi faceted and practical approach including an emotional, behavioural, sensory and cognitive preference to optimise the study experience for each learner. This coaching process should be implemented well in advance of a test series and exam to yield the most effective results and mitigate anxiety and stress which are often associated with formal testing.

3 Handwriting Assessments
In cases where students or senior learners experience difficulty during exam or test situations due to handwriting related problems we can perform standardised assessments to highlight problem areas and make appropriate recommendations to assist the student or learner.