I am having trouble distinguishing the roles of an occupational therapist and physical therapist in the USA. In the French health system, patients simply go to the masseur-kinésithérapeute and I don't believe there is such distinction (I might be wrong).

Say I have a tendinopathy in the USA: should I go to the occupational therapist or the physical therapist?


You should probably go to a physical therapist. Physicals therapists are more specialized in that they will treat the actual injury and its source.

"Occupational therapy (OT) addresses patients' impairments and functional limitations with the purpose of increasing their capability to complete activities of daily living (ADLs)." Occupational therapy is more for helping people get on with their everyday life, usually when you have a permanent disabilities, such as an amputated limb. They help people do things such as bath and cook independently.

"Physical therapy (PT) is a health profession that focuses on the movement of the human body. Physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapy assistants (PTAs) treat patients of all ages with physical impairments and functional limitations as a result of a medical condition or injury." Physical therapy is more for injuries that can be fixed (not 100% of the time, but close to it). This fits what you need, so the better option would be to go to a physical therapist.

The Difference Between Occupational and Physical Therapy

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