Recovering From A Serious Burn Injury: How Occupational Therapy Can Help

Posted on: 13 May 2016


Every year, tens of thousands of people get admitted to burn clinics as a result of serious burns. Most burns are caused by fires in the home, but can also be attributed to electricity, contact burns, and even chemicals. As a burn victim yourself, you know the many months of pain and rehabilitation can have its toll on you, and a burn can leave you unable to perform tasks the way you used to. Occupational therapy, or therapy that is designed to help improve your quality of life and independence, can prove to be very beneficial in helping you lead a normal life again. Here are the ways this type of therapy can help.


In order to heal from a serious burn (with or without skin grafts), you need to stretch the tissue on a regular basis. This allows the burn to contract less, leaving your skin more pliable and your nerves and tendons easier to move. On a physical level, occupational therapy can help you regain the movement you had prior to your burn injury, especially if your burn covers major joints, such as your ankles, elbows, or knees.


Burns take several weeks and months to heal and leave emotional scars as well as physical ones. You may be trying to cope with a nasty scar that is truly disfiguring or living with the memories of the pain of rehabilitation. Occupational therapy often involves helping you choose a support group with other burn victims where you can share your frustrations over the slow and painful healing process as well as your fears that you will never be able to work, walk, or learn to live with your new appearance.


In some cases, occupational therapy can also assist in helping to train you to perform certain tasks or gain new skills so you can be beneficial in the workplace. This is particularly beneficial to you if your burn injury has left you physically unable to do the things that you used to do at work. Under the guidance of a trained professional, you can build confidence in your current skills so you can keep a job and regain your independence. You will set goals with your occupational therapist and check in with them frequently to ensure that your current therapy is aiding you in reaching your physical and financial goals.

Surviving and healing from a major burn is a long journey that can take months to accomplish. With the assistance of occupational therapy, you can learn to love your healing body, gain valuable job skills, and regain the strength you have lost due to your accident. With time, you can find yourself having a great quality of life again.

For more information, contact a professional in your area or visit a website like