Do you have pain in your wrist, hand, or fingers that prevents you from gripping/pinching objects, such as with opening jars or holding your toothbrush? Zipping your jacket or holding a hand of playing cards? Do you wake with numbness/tingling in your hands or fingers? Is it difficult or painful to hold your walker or cane? All of these issues, and many more, can be easily treated by seeing a hand therapist.
Hand Therapy is a specialized area of practice in occupational therapy. Hand therapists receive additional training, certification and specialized education in evaluating and treating acute injuries, chronic conditions and other ailments that affect a person’s ability to use the upper extremity in their functional activities. Traditionally, in order to receive this type of specialized service, you would have to travel to a larger outpatient facility or hospital system.
Hand therapy services help you to regain, restore, protect and improve function by:
- Completing custom splinting/brace fabrication to assist in pain reduction, improved joint and soft tissue positioning, protect injured or affected structures, and provide functional positioning of the wrist/hand..
- Home Exercise Program development and education specific to your needs/goals
- Using therapeutic modalities to decrease pain, improve range of motion and flexibility
- Assessment of possible assistive devices/equipment needs to restore function/reduce pain and protect joints
- Establish goals and use activities to promote/restore; strength, coordination, dexterity and fine motor control, pain reduction, joint conservation (arthritis/joint deformity), sensation/perception
Benefits of Seeing Hand Therapist
- Therapist can complete comprehensive evaluation, establish treatment plan/goals and provide intervention without need to see a specialist first. There are times however, a therapist may refer patient to appropriate physician for further evaluation.
- Able to receive skilled intervention without the need to attend appointments at an outpatient clinic/outside facility— we come to you!
- If you have seen a physician for an injury and need additional therapy services following your injury, even if it required surgery, there’s no need to attend therapy at a facility as we can provide the necessary care to meet your rehabilitation goals and restore function.
Diagnoses commonly seen by Hand therapist:
- Carpal tunnel
- Thumb/finger and wrist arthritis
- Tendonitis of thumb/wrist and elbow
- Contractures (stiff/unable to move) of fingers/hand such as Dupuytrens contractures
- Trigger fingers
- Joint deformity such as seen with rheumatoid arthritis
- Stable dislocations, fractures or other injuries of the elbow, forearm, wrist and hand/fingers, and MANY more.
- Many more!