Occupational Therapy Evaluation and Intervention Overview

Occupational therapy evaluation and intervention is a complex procedure that begins with a physician's referral. An overview of the occupational therapy evaluation and intervention process is in the subsequent sections followed by more specific descriptions of treatment methods.

N. Vadivelu et al. (eds.), Essentials of Pain Management,

DOI 10.1007/978-0-387-87579-8_15, © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Table 15.1 Common client diagnoses and examples of occupational therapy interventions.

Diagnostic category

Examples of common diagnoses

Intervention examples

Pain related to

Lateral/medial epicondylitis

Physical agent modalities

non-traumatic diagnoses

DeQuervain's tendonitis

Therapeutic exercise

Rotator cuff tendonitis

Nerve gliding exercises

Shoulder impingement syndrome

Manual techniques


• Trigger point release

Rheumatoid arthritis

• Deep tissue massage


• Transverse friction massage

Multiple sclerosis

Functional splinting

Peripheral nerve compression

• Elbow/wrist/hand orthotics

• Kinesiotaping

Work/activity modification and education

Body mechanics education

Relaxation techniques

Pain related to traumatic

Upper and lower extremity fractures

Wound care/scar management/ stump shaping

injuries or post-surgical

Joint dislocations

Edema management


Tendon lacerations

Manual techniques

Crush injuries

Physical agent modalities

Injection injuries


Reflex sympathetic dystrophy

Therapeutic exercise


Sensory re-education/desensitization

Peripheral nerve lacerations

Client education/relaxation techniques

Rotator cuff tear

Functional activity

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