Occupational Therapy

To understand Occupational Therapy you first need to understand what therapists mean by Occupation. “Occupation” refers to practical and purposeful activities that allow people to live independently and have a sense of identity. Basically, any essential activity in your daily life. Work, play, self-care and fun. Whatever you do in your daily life.

Occupational Therapy is the art of enabling those activities and using them in their own right to promote health and well-being.

I’ll give you an example, You’ve got a Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder and it causes problems with your hands. You love arts and crafts but it’s causing you too much pain. As an OT I might provide you with a few hand exercises to strengthen your unstable joints, I could also help you find adaptive crafting tools or splints and teach you how to pace your crafting. The aim here would be to get you crafting again. Not just because you like it, but because the activity itself is good for your mental health and forms an important part of who you are. Crafting with friends can also be a great social activity and maybe you manage to make a little pocket money by selling hand-made birthday cards. Once adapted crafting could help improve or maintain your hand function too.

OTs work with people of all ages, in all walks of life and with limitless occupations. We’re not limited to those with specific medical conditions, age ranges or locations.

As an OT and expert patient I do my best to merge OT theory with my own experiences of living with hypermobile EDS and PoTS. You can find examples of this all over my blog.

I offer a range of Occupational Therapy services including; Pacing Masterclasses, Sleep Hygiene e-Clinics, Flare-up Planning sessionsJoint Protection Masterclasses and a personal shopping service for aids and adaptations. If none of those quite meet your needs then a Freestyle Appointment can be totally tailored to meet your needs.

For health and social care professionals who are living with long-term health challenges I also offer Wellbeing in Practice Mentoring to help you integrate self-care into your job role.

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Everyone is different and will face different challenges during their lives but I have written a few informative articles that I hope will help most people. You can explore other topics on my website using the drop down menus or by searching for key words.

Pacing

Pacing is beneficial to everyone from Wall street executive to people with severe ME. It’s all about using what energy you have most efficiently. For those with limited energy, efficiency is even more important. My introduction to pacing will hopefully give you a good point to start from. In my own life, proper pacing is one of the most beneficial self-management skills.

One of the other areas OTs look at is mobility. My post on when to use mobility aids is written from my personal experiences with disability but I’ve tried to put an OT spin on things.

Pain Management

At some point in our lives, most of us will experience pain. Some of us have to learn to live with chronic pain. The strategies in my pain management post are designed to work well along side physiotherapy, painkillers and plasters. Use the strategies you need in combination with each other to achieve the best results.

Sleep Hygiene

“The night is the hardest time to be alive and 4am knows all my secrets.”
― Poppy Z. Brite

Work and school deadlines, late night traffic, neighbourhood parties, just one more chapter of a good book, DVD’s in bed and Facebook on phones. Getting a good nights sleep is tough even before you add in back pain, restless legs and pillows you can’t get right. Sleep hygiene looks at creating positive and relaxing bedtime routines and beating ‘Painsomnia’.

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Most of my blog posts and articles are stand-alone informative pieces. I am working on a number of guides made up of multiple posts.

Wheelchair Guidance

Becoming a wheelchair user, even part time, can be a steep learning curve. The information available is spread far and wide an often assumes you know lots already. My Beginners Guide to Wheelchairs is simple enough for those who have no background knowledge but informative enough that even experiences wheelies might learn a thing or two.

Splinting for Hypermobility Syndromes

Splinting within the Hypermobile community is a frequently discussed and debated topic. There is limited information available and it’s often confusing. This is an ongoing project to compile one big and simple splinting resource for those with conditions like HSD, EDS and Marfan.

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Finally, for health and social care professionals with long-term conditions I co-run two Facebook groups you might be interested in.

DisabilOT for OTs with disabilities and MDT Disability Support for all health and social care professionals.

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4 thoughts on “Occupational Therapy

  1. Hi Jo,
    I’m looking for advice around the right type of support/splints for fingers and wrists for drawing/writing/typing type repetitive work with hypermobility? And best ways to get a hold of them at a decent price. I get a lot of pain on my hands wrists and elbows. Sometimes I get loads of nerve pain from moving my hand in certain ways. I like compression gloves for the way they cover all the joints (except elbows) but don’t think they are much use in summer or when drawing. Is there something else more all encompassing or do you have to buy a splint per finger joint, wrist and thumb?
    Also struggling with ankles, feet and i think.my knees hurt because of my ankles rather than because they are especially bendy according to the rheumatologist I saw but not sure. I have orthoses for feet which are an improvement but room forore improvement i think!

    Do you do assessments in person at all?
    Thank you!
    Bibi

    1. Hi Bibi, I don’t often do in-person assessments but I am happy to provide advice via video chat. Perhapse a combination approach like compression gloves with an adapted pencil grip might work for you. I personally, don’t recomment ‘over-splinting’ things so perhapse looking at your drawing style would be better. A writing slope, adapted pens and selective finger splints and gloves would be a good approach. I’m hppy to discuss this further and help your source everything you need. To give you a rough idea, my prices are about £15 per 30 minutes. As for your leg pain, it does take time to adjust to new orthotics, if you’re not currently seeing a physiotherapist I would strongly recommend it. If you’d like more info please drop me an email hello@jboccupationaltherapy.co.uk

      1. Brill thanks. I’m kinda busy at the mo but maybe I will email you over the next couple of weeks about a video chat 🙂 thank you! Good to know prices/and how you can help!

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