Dynamic Life Therapy

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy


Occupational therapist work with people of all ages who need specialized assistance to lead independent, productive, and satisfying lives due to physical, developmental, social, or emotional problems. Occupational therapist use the “occupations” or self-care, work, and play/leisure activities to increase independence, enhance development, and/or prevent disability. To achieve these goals occupational therapists may also adapt the task or the environment.

Occupational Therapy can help with, but not limited to:
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When talking about sensory processing, there are three basic senses that develop prior to and immediately after birth. They are the following:

  • Proprioception – The brain’s awareness of the body’s position in relation to gravity and the environment, specifically input to the joints and muscles.
  • Vestibular – The body’s ability to process input from movement, specifically an awareness of the position of the head with movement.
  • Tactile – The body’s ability to process all touch input to the skin, including temperature, pressure, and pain.

Additional senses that develop later on in life include the following:

  • Oral sensory – The body’s ability to appropriately process input through the mouth, including food and non-food items (sense of taste).
  • Auditory – The body’s sense of hearing.
  • Visual – The body’s sense of seeing, including input from light.
  • Olfactory – The body’s sense of smell.
  • Introspection – The body’s awareness of internal functions (such as temperature, emotions, etc.).

Lymphedema is the swelling of a body part due to ineffi­cient or ineffective lymph drainage. It occurs most frequently in an extremity (arm or leg) but can be present in the head, neck, abdomen and genitalia. 

Lymphedema is a chronic and progressive disease and if not treated, continues to worsen over time. Early diagnosis and treatment can improve both the prognosis and the condition. 

Types of Lymphedema 
  • Primary Lymphedema: occurs without any known cause and is due to inadequate or non-functional lymphatic vessels. It is due to inadequate or non-functional lymphatic vessels. It is due to a congenital or hereditary condition.
  • Secondary Lymphedema: is more common and is caused by an event causing blockage or interruptions of the lymphatic vessels. The most common causes are surgery involving the lymph nodes, radiation therapy, trauma and cancer. It is most often seen following surgery for cancer of the breast, pelvic area and resections for lymphomas and melanomas. 

Treatment is individualized to each person depending on severity, location, and ability. 

Complete Decongestive Therapy:

  • Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD): gentle, hands-on technique that provides stimulation of functioning lymphatic vessels to assist in removing the fluid from the affected area{s).
  • Compression: Application of short-stretch multi-layering bandages to assist with decreasing edema and prevent re-fill of limb(s). Applying bandages following MLD enhances lymphatic fluid mobility.
  • Therapeutic Exercises: Instruction on an individualized exercise program to enhance MLD outcomes and continues reductions of swelling.
  • Skin Care: Education on the use of a low pH level lotion, as well as other methods, to enhance the health of skin and help the patient avoid infections and wounds.

Symptoms of Lymphedema

  • Full sensation in the limb(s)
  • Tightness and/or shiny appearance of skin
  • Decreased flexibility or movement
  • Recurrent infections

Non-healing wounds

Motor coordination is the ability to organize the body and complete simple or complex movements to effectively achieve a functional goal. Components of motor coordination include body awareness, balance, strength, using both sides of the body, and the ability to motor plan through a task.

Liz Gonka