Whether you are recovering from hand surgery, have pain and stiffness in your hands from arthritis or have tendinitis— hand therapist may be the answer in helping with your pain.
What is A Hand Therapist?
While most people are familiar with physical therapists, you may be asking yourself what exactly is a hand therapist? Simply put, a Hand Therapist is either a physical therapist or an occupational therapist that has specialized training in treating conditions affecting the hands and upper extremities.
How A Hand Therapist Can Help
So to answer your question how can a hand therapist help with my pain? Hand Therapists typically work in hospitals, clinics, physical therapy or rehab centers and sports medicine facilities. They work closely with physicians and surgeons to treat patients with hand and post-surgical conditions. Through assessment and treatment, hand therapists help to reduce pain & swelling and work with patients to gain strength, mobility and dexterity for a more functional and pain free life.
In addition to rehabilitation after surgery, Hand Therapists also help patients with arthritic conditions, sprains, fractures and dislocations, nerve or tendon damage, tendinitis, elbow and shoulder disorders and many other conditions.
Hand Therapy Treatment
The first visit with a Hand Therapist usually begins with a discussion of your problems and symptoms and an examination of your muscles, joints, nerves and ligaments. Posture, range of motion, strength and sensation may also be measured.
Based on your evaluation, a treatment plan and goals will be formed. Heat/ice, massage, swelling reduction techniques, mobilization of joints and customized exercise programs may all be a part of your treatment plan. Hand therapists are also trained in the evaluation and making of splints. Your therapist may fit you for a custom splint/orthosis or recommend a prefabricated splint.
The length of your therapy will depend on the severity of your condition or injury and the pace of your recovery. Most people are pleased to find that working with a hand therapist results in lower medical costs and a quicker return to work and/or an active lifestyle.Like what you’ve read? Click here to subscribe to the blog!
To find a Certified Hand Therapist in your area, please go to www.htcc.org/find-a-cht
Our blogs are educational in nature and are not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Because your condition is unique to you, it is recommended that you consult with your health care provider before attempting any medical or therapeutic treatments. We are always happy to answer questions about products mentioned in our blogs, however, we cannot provide a diagnosis or medical advice.