When it comes to rehabilitation and improving one’s quality of life after injury or disability, two key fields often come to mind: physical therapy and occupational therapy. While both are crucial components of the healthcare system, they serve distinct purposes and target different aspects of a patient’s well-being. Understanding the disparity between physical therapy and occupational therapy can help individuals make informed decisions regarding their treatment plans.

What’s the Difference?

While physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) may share some similarities in their approaches to rehabilitation, they have distinct focuses and objectives.

The main difference is that occupational therapy is focused on helping you restore your ability to participate in day-to-day activities while physical therapy is focused on restoring your physical mobility and strength.

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is a form of healthcare that focuses on helping people of all ages participate in day-to-day activities, such as self-care tasks (like getting dressed, bathing yourself, and feeding yourself), work, and leisure activities.

Occupational therapists assess their clients’ abilities and limitations and develop personalized interventions to improve their functional independence. They may address physical, cognitive, sensory, and psychosocial aspects of performance to facilitate participation in daily activities.

What is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy, on the other hand, primarily focuses on restoring and improving physical function, mobility, and strength. Physical therapists work with patients to ease pain, improve range of motion, and enhance overall movement patterns.

At Herlong Sports Physical Therapy, our PTs utilize various techniques such as exercises, manual therapy, and assistive devices to address impairments resulting from injuries. Physical therapy aims to optimize functional mobility and prevent further injury.

4 Benefits of Undergoing Physical Therapy

1. Pain Management

Physical therapy can effectively reduce pain associated with musculoskeletal disorders, injuries, or chronic conditions. Through targeted exercises, manual techniques, and other methods, our physical therapists can help you alleviate pain and get back to doing what you love – whether it’s sports, exercise, or any other physically-demanding activity.

Our physical therapists will not only help you strengthen weakened areas, they will also teach you how to adjust your movement patterns to help you be as pain-free as possible.

2. Improved Mobility and Function

Whether you’re recovering from surgery or a non-surgical injury, physical therapy plays a crucial role in restoring mobility and function. Our PTs will design an individualized exercise program to enhance strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination, enabling you to regain independence in physically-taxing activities.

3. Injury Prevention

Physical therapists not only treat existing injuries but will also educate you on injury prevention strategies. By identifying movement patterns or biomechanical issues that may predispose you to injuries, our PTs can develop tailored exercise routines and ergonomic recommendations to minimize the risk of future injuries.

4. Enhanced Recovery after Surgery

If you’ve undergone a surgical procedure such as a joint replacement or ligament repair, physical therapy is an integral part of the recovery process. Our physical therapists will guide you through post-operative exercises, help you manage pain and swelling, and facilitate a safe return to sport and/or other physical activity, facilitating a smooth recovery process.

Physical Therapy in Maryland

Are you dealing with an injury or ailment that is making it difficult for you to participate in the physical activities you love? Herlong Sports Physical Therapy employs a skilled team of doctors of physical therapy who will help you through each stage of your recovery.

We treat patients out of several facilities throughout Maryland. No doctor’s referral is required to begin your recovery with HSPT, and we are in-network with all major insurance plans. Contact us to get started today!



10312 Governor Lane Boulevard #5007
Williamsport, MD 21795

Located inside of TrueAP




1438 Liberty Rd, STE 10A
Eldersburg, MD 21784

Located inside of MadLab Performance




2470 Longstone Ln, STE A
Marriottsville, MD 21104

Located inside of Campanaro Strength & Conditioning




12447 Clarksville Pike
Clarksville, MD 21029

Located inside of Campanaro Strength & Conditioning