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Physical & Occupational Therapy

The MUSC Health Departments of Physical and Occupational Therapy are committed to excellent and comprehensive rehabilitation services across the lifespan for the people of our community with physical and/or functional challenges. We strive to utilize best practices and evidence-based care to maximize independence in physical health and functional abilities. Clinicians and families collaborate to develop a patient centered plan of care that promotes patient ownership of their physical health and rehabilitation needs.

What is Physical Therapy?

Physical Therapists (PTs) and Physical Therapy Assistants (PTAs) are movement experts who improve quality of life through prescribed exercises, hands-on care, and patient education. They diagnose and treat individuals of all ages, from newborns to people at the end of life. PTs can focus on people with injuries and disabilities, post-operative conditions, or chronic conditions, but also help people who want to become healthier or prevent future problems.

A Physical Therapist evaluates your situation and develops a unique treatment plan, according to your personal goals, to improve your ability to move, reduce or manage pain, restore function, and prevent disability. PT’s help you achieve fitness goals, regain, or maintain your independence, and lead an active life.

Physical Therapists use evidence-based examination techniques and interventions to improve the individual as effectively and efficiently as possible. PTs are trained in 2-3 years of graduate school and are licensed healthcare providers. They may have a master’s or Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. Physical Therapy Assistants receive an associate degree and may also have a Bachelor of Science degree.

What is Occupational Therapy?

Your life is made up of occupations – meaningful everyday activities. These occupations may include roles, such as being a parent, a friend, a spouse, a tennis player, an artist, a cook, or a musician. We generally don’t think about our daily occupations until we have trouble doing them. Everyone has occupations – from the toddler whose occupations are play and learning to develop important skills to the older adult whose occupations are engaging with family and friends and managing his or her home. If you are recovering from an accident or injury, your valued occupations may be disrupted. Occupational therapy incorporates your valued occupations into the rehab process.

Occupational Therapists (OT’s) and Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTA's) are skilled health care professionals who use research and scientific evidence to ensure their interventions are effective. With strong knowledge of a person’s psychological, physical, emotional, and social makeup, occupational therapists can evaluate how your condition is affecting your body and mind, using a holistic perspective. OT’s are trained in 2-3 years of graduate school, and are licensed healthcare providers. They may have a Masters or Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree. COTA’s receive an Associate’s Degree and may also have a Bachelor’s of Science Degree.

OT’s will evaluate your situation and develop individualized goals that allow you to resume or pursue your valued occupations. Then you will work together on a specific intervention plan to help improve or maintain your ability to performing your daily activities and reach your goals getting back to your life.

Academic Excellence

We support MUSC’s mission of academic excellence by providing educational opportunities for future clinicians and engaging students in a multi-disciplinary learning environment. Learn more about the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program or Physical Therapy Residency Programs.