Take care of your health.
COVID-19 has been hard on us all. Connect with resources and people to better manage your mental health and chronic pain during these tough times.
- Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division: Tips for good mental health | Here to Help
- Pain BC: COVID-19 news and resources for people living with pain | Pain BC
We’re here to help.
Image reposted from heretohelp.bc.ca.
Practicing dance moves can be a step in the right direction when returning to work after an injury. Sports and leisure activities build skills and endurance that are often transferrable in the workplace. Our occupational therapists sometimes incorporate sports and leisure activities into treatment plans so workers return to their jobs in a timely and safe manner. This increases workplace productivity, decreases the number of absences and can reduce worksite accidents.
How OTs Use Sports and Leisure for Return to Work
When Melissa Ferguson, OT, first meets with a client, she wants to know, “What are some of the important activities for you in your life?” She asks her clients why they enjoy those activities. She chooses to focus on what lights her clients up and gets them excited, even when an injury feels like a barrier to participating. She uses task analysis to create a step by step breakdown on how to achieve a chosen final goal.
Through a gradual progression in frequency and intensity, Melissa helps her clients discover what they can do, rather than focusing on what they can’t.
The Benefits of Sports and Leisure
Melissa’s clients build up sports and leisure routines before returning to work. As a result, her clients arrive at their jobs better prepared with skills in stress and pain management as well as community activation and ergonomics.
Exercise and hobbies can improve both physical and psychological functioning when they become regular, personalized practices for a variety of reasons. They allow us to connect with members of our community. They foster a feeling of accomplishment and confidence. Sports and leisure also:
- develop habits to build structured routines
- hone motor skills
- prevent and improve back problems, especially through low-stress aerobics like walking and swimming
- reduce chronic pain through yoga, Pilates, and strength training
- support independent living for seniors and prevent falls
- release tension caused by repetitive tasks and desk set-ups
- foster mental wellbeing
Educating yourself is a great first step to returning to recreational activities. Below are resources you can turn to for more information.
- “The Benefits of Recreation.” (City of Richmond)
- “Fearless Fitness: An Exercise Guide for People with Chronic Pain.” (CurableHealth.com)
- “Effects of Recreational Physical Activity and Back Exercises on Low Back Pain and Psychological Distress: Findings from the UCLA Low Back Pain Study.” (Authors: E. Hurwitz, H. Morgenstern, and C. Chiao)
Get Started with an OT
All of our therapists at OT Works! are certified with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC) and have additional training in areas such as mental health, brain injury rehabilitation, home safety and chronic pain.
If you or someone you know could benefit from occupational therapy after a motor vehicle accident or other injuries, contact us today! We are happy to answer any questions you may have.
Phone: 604.696.1066 ext 1000
Welcome Megan DeLeon and Jodie Comerford to the OT Works! team. They are graduates of the Occupational Therapy program at the University of British Columbia. Megan and Jodie work primarily with ICBC clients, individuals with 3rd party health coverage and privately-paying customers. They guide clients with various diagnoses in managing their daily activities at home, work and in the community. They help their clients manage their pain and anxiety to improve their independent functioning.
Megan journeys alongside her clients as they try out strategies to achieve their greatest potential. She brings a wealth of knowledge regarding mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) and concussions due to her previous experience working in the Head Injury Assessment and Treatment Services Program. She enjoys working one-on-one with her clients to foster both mental and physical wellbeing. Megan serves clients in the Metro Vancouver region from Vancouver, Richmond and Delta to Langley and Maple Ridge.
Jodie emphasizes the importance of the biopsychosocial approach to fully understand all the factors that affect a person’s health. She has formerly worked with adults with development disabilities and therefore has a well-structured approach to behaviour modification, skill development and goal attainment. Jodie also serves clients in the Metro Vancouver region from Vancouver, Richmond and Delta to Langley and Maple Ridge.
Like all of our therapists, Megan and Jodie are full registrants and in good standing with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC).
Get started with an OT
If you or someone you know could benefit from working with an occupational therapist, contact us today!
Phone: 604.696.1066 ext. 1000.
As a busy, young woman, Aman struggled when soft-tissue injuries a motor vehicle accident (MVA) decreased her ability to work and play. She experienced back pain and mood fluctuations that made it difficult to enjoy the things she used to love like cooking and yoga. With goal-oriented occupational therapy, Aman increased her endurance and transformed her outlook on life.
Referral: 30-90 days after the accident
- Pain Management
- External Service Recommendations: Physiotherapy, Kinesiology and Massage Therapy
Occupation: Lab Technician and Aesthetician
Injuries: Soft tissue injuries to the back, neck and shoulder; fluctuations in mood
How OT Helped
Aman enjoys cooking, yoga and attending the gym. When soft tissue injuries interrupted her ability to be active, she also struggled with her mood and motivation. At the time that she met Jaclyn Forsythe (OT), she wasn’t convinced that occupational therapy would help her return to the activities she loved.
Jaclyn, equipped with her Masters’ education and variety of experience, recognized that Aman could benefit from OT. Together, they set well-structure goals that were realistic and achievable. She also provided Aman with tools and techniques to manage her pain effectively so that she could reconnect with the activities she enjoyed before the accident. With Melissa’s support, Aman fostered a more positive outlook on life and could manage her injuries effectively.
“It was my first time working with an occupational therapist and I have to say I had a very good experience. I didn’t think I needed one in the first place, but now having experience the service I can see how it has helped me with my injury and rehab. Both mentally and physically.”Aman (OT Works! client)
All of our OTs are university-trained and certified by the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC). Many of our OTs have additional training in physical OT treatment, mental health, and goal-planning.
Contact us today if you or someone you know could benefit from an OT, or have questions about how an OT can help after an MVA.
Phone: 604.696.1066 ext. 1000