What is Hand Therapy?
Hand therapy is the art and science of evaluating and treating injuries and conditions of the upper extremity (shoulder, arm, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand). It evolved from the need for a specialist with the knowledge and experience required to manage the challenging recovery of complex hand and upper extremity injuries. Hand therapy is a type of rehabilitation performed by an occupational or physical therapist. Patients who need hand therapy may have been affected by an auto accident, sports injury, or trauma leaving them with burns, scars, wounds, injured nerves or tendons, fractures, or even amputations of the fingers, hands or arms.
What Can Hand Therapy Accomplish?
Hand therapy bridges the gap from medical management of the upper extremity conditions to successful recovery, thereby allowing individuals to function normally in their daily lives. Patients with chronic conditions, such as arthritis, or neurologic conditions, such as a stroke can benefit from the following:
- Treatments without operations
- Help with recent or long-lasting pain
- Help to reduce sensitivity from nerve problems
- Learning to feel again after a nerve injury
- Learning home exercise program to help with movement and strength
- How to make splints to prevent or improve stiffness
- Learning to complete everyday activities with special tools
- Recovery from hand surgery with treatments to encourage wound healing, prevent infection, scar management, and reduction of swelling
How Can I Get Started?
Our hand therapist has become proficient in the treat of hand dysfunction through advanced continuing education, clinical experience, and the integration of knowledge in anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology. Working closely with your doctor in helping to manage your hand impairment, our primary goal is to return you to a productive lifestyle. During your first visit to our office, we conduct a full evaluation that includes an assessment of your range of motion, strength, sensation, function, and activities of daily living. A treatment plan is established to help reduce your pain, restore movement, regain strength, and achieve functional independence with the impaired upper extremity. Treatments of manual therapy, patient education, splint fabrication, therapeutic exercise, hot/cold/electrical modalities, and therapeutic activities are utilized for your rehabilitation.
American Society for Surgery of the Hand