Impact Rehab & Wellness wants to say THANK YOU to all the OT’s out there making a difference!
What is an occupational therapist?
Occupational therapists are health care providers who are embracing health challenges and enhancing lives. In occupational therapy, occupations refer to the everyday activities that people do as individuals, in families, and with communities to occupy time and bring meaning and purpose to life. Occupations include things people need to, want to, and are expected to do.
Kris Siegenthaler OTR/L, MS, CHT, CLT is an occupational therapist at Impact Rehab & Wellness. In addition to being an OT, she’s a certified lymphedema therapist (CLT). Kris helps those who have swelling, or edema, learn to manage it, so it doesn’t interfere with being able to do important daily activities.
Edema in your legs can make it hard to wear shoes or pants. It can also limit your ability to stand or walk. If the edema is in your arm, it can make it hard to wear a long sleeved shirt and do daily activities, such as reaching into a cabinet. Edema can also occur in the neck, face, and trunk. Without treatment, patients who have lymphedema often experience increased size of the body part. They also have an increased risk of infection, wounds, and blood clots. Daily activities become increasingly difficult.
Occupational therapists who are CLT’s, help teach those who have edema how to cope with and decrease the edema. This involves learning how to use compression garments, lymphatic drainage massage, and exercise to decrease the edema. CLT occupational therapists are able to offer options for treatment that are tailored to the individual needs of each patient.
A recent client came to therapy at our clinic with problems of knee pain and severe leg edema over the last 6 months. Her health challenges included a recent infection in her leg and difficulty walking or standing for short periods of time. With Kris’s help, she learned how to perform compression bandaging, was able to decrease the size of her leg, and did not have any further infections! Her pain over the next few weeks completely disappeared. The patient’s life was enhanced as she could now go shopping and work without fatigue in her legs. Additionally, she learned how to perform specialized lymphatic exercise and massage. This enabled her to find a healthy way to manage her symptoms.
Happy OT Month!
One of Kris’s favorite occupational therapy definitions is: “Man, through the use of his hands, as they are energized by mind and will, can influence the state of his own health.” This famous quote from Mary Reilly, delivered in her 1961 Eleanor Clarke Slagle Lecture, is powerful.
Reach out and ask an occupational therapist how they can make Impact on YOUR health and wellness. Happy OT month to all the OT’s in our community and around the world!