Occupational therapy

Synonyms in a broader sense

Exercise therapy

Definition / introduction

The term occupational therapy comes from the Greek and means something like "Healing through work and action“(“ Ergon ”= work, action, activity, performance and“ therapeia ”= treatment, service). Occupational therapy is therefore a form of therapy that mainly deals with physical activity and, moreover, with the recovery process of a person and is therefore one of the medical health professions.

Occupational therapy follows a holistic concept. That means they have the Sees people as a whole and therefore not just the body, but also personality, socio-cultural Aaspects and the interaction between the person and theirs environment as these factors can have a significant effect on the success of a treatment.

In general, occupational therapy in people of all ages used if there is a reasonable assumption that they can benefit from this form of treatment in their condition.

When considering occupational therapy, it is best to speak to a doctor or occupational therapist directly, with whom you can then discuss whether this type of therapy makes sense in the present case and whether it promises success. Should this be the case, an occupational therapy treatment can either stationary or also outpatient take place in an occupational therapy practice.


The form of therapy occupational therapy exists only since the beginning of the 20th century and is originally from the USA.
In Germany, this profession arose from the amalgamation of the job titles employment and occupational therapist, which took place in 1999.

Basics and goals

The concept of occupational therapy is based on some basic assumptions:

  • Man is an acting being by nature.
  • Diseases or Disruptionsthat impair this ability to act, Act consequently on the state of health of a person.
  • Through the targeted Use of activity so you can positive affect a healing process.


In principle, occupational therapy distinguishes between the areas

  1. Productivity,
  2. Self-sufficiency and
  3. Leisure.

All three play one decisive role for one person when it comes to to master everyday life.

The target In occupational therapy it is accordingly one in all of these areas of employment To achieve (again) the ability to act in everyday life.

This can be done via the direct learning of specific skills take place or via the Exploiting creative processes or the Dealing with other people.

Areas of application

Occupational therapy is used in a wide variety of areas of medicine both for Treatment as well as used successfully for prevention.

  • neurology: Especially stroke patients often benefit from occupational therapy. A stroke often goes with one loss of motor function one side of the body. With good occupational therapy started early, you can often many functions restored become.
    In this way, those affected can ideally at least learn to eat and drink independently again, to wash and take care of themselves. Gross and fine motor skills can be trained; If certain functions are permanently down, you can concentrate on learning certain substitute functions.
    Neuropsychological restrictions (attention, Concentration and performance loss) can be alleviated with the help of occupational therapy.
    Other neurological diseases for which occupational therapy can be useful are those multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's, Paraplegia, Traumatic brain injury and the Amytrophic lateral sclerosis (AS).
  • Orthopedics: In orthopedics (and also in the rheumatology and Traumatology) becomes occupational therapy used to correct or improve disorders in the musculoskeletal system.
    Here the areas partially overlap with neurology (for example in the case of paraplegia) Amputations, Broken bones and rheumatic complaints be treated with occupational therapy.
    Also in this subject is the Everyday suitability in the foreground. For this purpose, certain movement sequences are trained and, if necessary, compensation mechanisms are learned or certain aids are used. In orthopedics in particular, occupational therapy works hand in hand with physiotherapywhich also aims to (re) establish the greatest possible range of motion.
  • Pediatrics: In principle, occupational therapy can be used for all children and adolescents whose level of development is not age-appropriate for any reason.
    root cause various organic brain damage, but also mental illness, (Sensory) disabilities or one delayed sensorimotor development be.
    They can all be reasons for occupational therapy. In pediatrics, occupational therapy also plays a major role in prevention. In children, for example, the Trained attention and performance or the Fine motor skills promoted become.
    This means you can take children with you, for example ADHD Make everyday school life much easier, as they are able to concentrate much better.
  • psychiatry: Generally speaking, occupational therapy in psychiatry usually aims to ensure that the Patients "find back to themselves". This includes on the one hand that skills that have been lost due to a psychological process can or must be learned again and on the other hand that certain skills Perceptions and ways of thinking trained can be. For example, occupational therapy can work for some Addictions, Behavioral, Personality, Fear- and eating disorder, depressions or schizophrenia help those affected to perceive the environment and their own body properly again.
    In addition to basic functions such as motivation and drive often one emotional stability and a better one Resilience and a certain Self-confidence can be regained, which enables patients to find their way around better in everyday life, even on their own.
  • geriatrics: Geriatrics actually encompasses several medical specialties, as older people are often affected by many different diseases (Multimorbidity) suffer from all areas.
    Therefore, occupational therapy in geriatrics is primarily aimed at to stabilize mental and physical abilities and keep it for as long as possible.
    Especially the receipt of cognitive processes is of particular interest as it makes for a long time Independence guaranteed will too. In geriatrics, occupational therapy should also be used prophylactically, as it can prevent or at least delay an early dependence on other people and also certain “complications of the elderly”, such as an increased risk of falling.

Forms of therapy

A basic distinction is made in occupational therapy between three different therapy methodswhich, however, often cannot be clearly separated from one another and complement one another:

  1. The competence-centered method
    (here certain skills are actually practiced, which focus on training the gross and fine motor area and (re) learning certain techniques and skills)
  2. The expression-centered method
    (Here one makes use of creative processes with which the patient can express himself in order to be able to communicate and to establish access to the patient; music and painting are used, among other things)
  3. The interactional method
    (which primarily depends on the interactions of patients with other members of a group)

Some special forms of therapy are that Creative therapywho have favourited sensory Integration therapy (The main area of ​​application is attention disorders and developmental delays), the Therapy according to Affolter (especially for autistic childrenwho have problems dealing with and processing their environment) who Feldenkrais method (the training of movement and coordination, which is sometimes done by making patients aware that the neuromuscular abilities are always related to a mental component) or that Perfetti concept (especially for patients with neurological deficits who are trying to train some movements again).

job profile

The occupational therapist profession nowadays can be achieved by both education to an occupational therapist as well as by studying to be obtained.
Training to become an occupational therapist at a school for occupational therapy is still more common. This training contains both practical and theoretical components, usually lasts three years and ends with the examination to become a state-certified occupational therapist.

Appointment with ?

I would be happy to advise you!

Who am I?
My name is dr. Nicolas Gumpert. I am a specialist in orthopedics and the founder of .
Various television programs and print media report regularly about my work. On HR television you can see me every 6 weeks live on "Hallo Hessen".
But now enough is indicated ;-)

In order to be able to treat successfully in orthopedics, a thorough examination, diagnosis and a medical history are required.
In our very economic world in particular, there is too little time to thoroughly grasp the complex diseases of orthopedics and thus initiate targeted treatment.
I don't want to join the ranks of "quick knife pullers".
The aim of any treatment is treatment without surgery.

Which therapy achieves the best results in the long term can only be determined after looking at all of the information (Examination, X-ray, ultrasound, MRI, etc.) be assessed.

You will find me:

  • Lumedis - orthopedic surgeons
    Kaiserstrasse 14
    60311 Frankfurt am Main

You can make an appointment here.
Unfortunately, it is currently only possible to make an appointment with private health insurers. I hope for your understanding!
For more information about myself, see Lumedis - Orthopedists.