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Occupational Therapy at Featherstone – Working with Kacey

Hi. I’m Kim, and welcome back!

We’re in the treatment rooms at Featherstone today where Kacey has come to see me for Occupational Therapy.

This is the second blog of a series that I’m writing about Occupational Therapy (OT), and it will cover - (read Part 1 here)

  • A little more about how OT’s think and work

  • Learning about the occupations that are important to Kacey

  • How we can help her participation and engagement

Let’s meet Kacey! Kacey is a new mum to 10-month-old Finn (who is adorable, and came to OT today too). She’s been settling into this role as she works part time at Featherstone - instructing Pilates and Barre and taking care of Marketing. The things that are most important to Kacey include being able to play with Finn and take him on walks in his baby carrier. Recently, Kacey has been having difficulty with these activities as she’s been experiencing a little pain and discomfort in her lower back and hip joints, which reduces the level to which she can do and enjoy these things.

Occupational Therapy Appointment at Featherstone Physio Pilates

Kim spent a little more time finding out about Kacey’s daily routines and other activities. She asked about the sorts of things that Kacey does before and after playing and going on walks with Finn, and what Kacey thought helped make the discomfort better. She asked about how and where they normally play and walk (the environments), and what improvements Kacey would like to see in these activities.

Together, Kacey and Kim set OT goals – within the next two weeks; to be able to play with Finn for twenty minutes longer before the discomfort reduces her enjoyment, and within the next month; to be able to walk for more than half an hour with Finn before her lower back calls for a stop to the activity.

Kim looked at how Kacey and Finn play together – analysing the activity to understand Kacey’s bio-mechanical movements, her cognitive and emotional focusing and a typical sequencing of events during these times.

Occupational Therapy at Featherstone Physio Pilates

She asked what was typical and how long Kacey was spending doing certain parts of the play activity and asked what made the discomfort worse or better as she watched She looked at how Kacey’s body moved in response to Finn and worked out what might be useful to support Kacey to engage in this activity for longer.

Next, Kacey and Kim looked more at the baby carrier and how it fitted to Kacey’s body, and the bio-mechanical loading on her body when lifting Finn in and once he was strapped in. Kim asked Kacey to walk and observed how she typically moved, asking about clothing and footwear she usually wears. She looked at the adjustment available on the baby carrier, making some changes and asking more questions about Kacey’s hips and lower back.

Next, they moved onto the treatment table and Kim suggested alternative positions and postures that might work for Kacey to bring ease to the affected structures and joints as she played with Finn. She asked more about Kacey’s home environment and how it might support these adjustments. She worked with Kacey on the treatment table, using neuromuscular education to focus on the supporting muscles and structures required for the postures and movements had she observed, asking Kacey for participation during this process (as Finn tried to escape).

Kim gave Kacey some body awareness homework to engage perceptive parts of her brain, designed to help her be more aware of her movements and look after her body biomechanically during these activities. They reviewed the suggested modifications to Kacey’s posture and her home environment where Kacey and Finn regularly play together. They discussed a review session to expand on the bodywork and neuromuscular education and see how the changes from today’s session affect Kacey’s engagement and enjoyment in these important play activities with Finn.

Look out for Part 3 of the blog series which delves even deeper into the OT process at Featherstone as I talk about my work on expanding potential and performance, integrating human structures, function, and environments.

Reach out if you have further questions for me; Kim White. I want to support you in finding your potential and performance in the activities, life roles or occupations that are important to you. If they’re important to you, they’re important to me.

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