Occupational therapy

What is occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy is a rehabilitation service that helps you improve or regain the ability to perform day-to-day activities revolving around self-care, leisure and work.

The occupational therapist will assess your functional status and use a variety of treatment methods to meet your goals.

Occupational therapy vs physiotherapy

Both occupational therapy and physiotherapy are forms of rehabilitation. Physiotherapy focuses on restoring normal movement and function to people who have been affected by injuries or conditions. Physiotherapists use a combination of manual and exercise therapy to achieve this.

Occupational therapy focuses on helping you perform day-to-day activities such as getting dressed or eating. Occupational therapists may also recommend changes to your home or office environment to make it more optimal for you.

Types of occupational therapy

Occupational therapy encompasses a wide range of services:

Hand therapy

Hand therapy is for patients who have experienced upper limb fractures, nerve or tendon injuries or repetitive strain injuries. These may include carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, tendonitis or congenital deformities.

Some of our hand therapy treatments include:

  • Fluidotherapy
  • Continuous passive movement (CPM) machines for the shoulder, elbow or hand
  • Heat treatment such as wax therapy or hot packs

Splints and orthoses

Splints and orthoses are devices designed to support your body in a certain position to aid healing. Occupational therapists can prescribe and make customised splints for the upper and lower limbs, neck or spine.

Some of the splints we produce include:

  • TLSO or lumbar jacket
  • Neck splint
  • Humeral brace
  • Elbow splint
  • Munster splint
  • Radial or ulnar block splint
  • Wrist cock-up splint
  • Anti-spastic hand splint
  • Dynamic splint
  • Extension through splint
  • Intrinsic plus splint
  • Finger gutter splint
  • Anti-mallet splint
  • Kleinert splint
  • Capener splint


The neuro-rehabilitation programme helps to improve your functional independence in your daily activities. This programme may prove beneficial to patients with stroke, head injuries or spinal cord injuries, and Guillain-Barre syndrome. Treatment includes the use of modalities including Dynavision, Rejoyce, Neuromove and Biomove.

Caregiver training

This training equips your caregivers with the basic knowledge and skills to help you recover at home. This ensures that you continue to receive the support you need after you are discharged from hospital. For example, caregivers can be trained to provide stroke rehabilitation at home for stroke patients.

Office and home ergonomics

Our occupational therapists can help you to set up your office and home ergonomically to make it more work-friendly without compromising on function. A well-set up office and home can significantly reduce back, neck and shoulder pain, improve productivity and result in less sick days.

Home evaluation or modifications

For the home evaluation or modifications service, the therapist visit your home before or after you are discharged from the hospital. They will assess and advise you and your family members on home modifications and safety to best accommodate your needs. This helps you to overcome physical barriers within and outside the home, and enhance your safety and mobility.

Prescription of aids or appliances

The therapist can assess and prescribe appropriate aids or appliances to help you function independently at home. These may include:

  • Wheelchair
  • Commode chair
  • Shower chair
  • Raised toilet seat
  • Adaptive equipment such as long handled reacher, bath sponge, and universal built-in handles.

Complete decongestive therapy (CDT)

Complete decongestive therapy (CDT) provides an individualised oedema (swelling) reduction programme. This therapy employs techniques including manual lymph drainage, bandaging, compression garments, and exercises. It also includes client education.

This therapy can benefit post-surgery cancer patients. Manual lymph drainage is also used for pain relief in headaches, local oedema as well as sports injuries where we work closely with physiotherapists to provide the treatment.

Pressure garments

Pressure garments are customised for your specific needs and made based on the doctor’s request. Patients who may benefit from this include those undergoing post-operation scar management for burns.

Assessment of functional fitness for work

Our therapists can assess functional fitness for work for industrial and commercial employees. We conduct the assessment as part of employees' pre-employment tests. They will be assessed with VALPAR modalities and other standardised tools such as Digital JAMAR dynamometers and pinch gauges.

Why do you need occupational therapy?

At times, diseases or injuries may lead to varying degrees of physical disability. Simple everyday tasks become challenging because of your physical limitations.

Such disability may be caused by neurological (brain and nerves), orthopaedic (bones and muscles), medical, surgical or other conditions. Specific conditions include cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis or autism, whether in adults or children.

An occupational therapist will use activities to help you deal with your day-to-day functioning and enable you to engage in meaningful activities of everyday life.

Why choose Mount Elizabeth Hospitals?

Mount Elizabeth provides rehabilitation services at 3 centres in Singapore:

  • Mount Elizabeth Rehabilitation Centre
  • Mount Elizabeth Physiotherapy Centre
  • Rehab & Homecare

Our Rehabilitation Centre provides occupational therapy for patients of all ages. We focus on managing patients' impairments and improving their functional status and functional limitations. Through occupational therapy, we support patients' recovery after their treatments for medical conditions or trauma.

Estimated cost

Private healthcare can be affordable. Use our Hospital Bill Estimator to determine the estimated cost of this procedure. If you have hospital insurance, find out how you can use your insurance.

Find doctors from our allied hospitals

We offer a full spectrum of healthcare services under IHH Healthcare Singapore.
Check if your preferred hospital offers this treatment:

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Need help?

For enquiries, please call
+65 6250 0000 (Orchard) or +65 6898 6898 (Novena)

For appointment bookings, please WhatsApp
+65 8111 7777 (Orchard) or +65 8111 5777 (Novena)