The American Society of Hand Therapists (ASHT) defines hand therapy as “the art and science of rehabilitation of the upper extremity of the human body, which includes the hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder girdle.”
Hand therapists are occupational therapists or physical therapists who, through extra training and experience, have specialized knowledge of upper extremity function. A Certified Hand Therapist has a minimum of five years of clinical experience, successfully passed and examination of advanced clinical skills and theory in upper extremity rehabilitation and meets mandated criteria to maintain this specialized credential.
Using targeted assessment and treatment, hand therapists work with their patients to prevent injury or impairment, restore functional activity, and enhance participation in daily life.
Occupational Therapy at Professional
Occupational therapy at Professional is limited to hand therapy only. Almost all of our hand therapists are OTs, but only treat hand and upper extremity conditions.
Occupational therapy and PT are closely aligned, but physical therapy treatments focus on improving function and reducing pain, while occupational therapy focuses on helping patients perform daily activities that their condition or illness prevents them from doing. While a PT might help someone bend and straighten their elbow after injury, an occupational therapist might help the same person be able to button their shirt or complete tasks while recovering.
How can hand therapy help me?
A qualified hand therapist can evaluate and treat any problem relative to the upper extremities. The hand therapist can effectively treat and rehabilitate the patient through postoperative rehabilitation, preventative, non-operative, or conservative treatment, or industry consultation.
The therapist works closely with the physician and patient to provide a continuum of care. This often starts within days of the injury or surgery right through to the patient’s return to work and/or a productive lifestyle.
How do I know if I’m a candidate for hand therapy?
Before committing to a hand therapy treatment program, you should be sure that you’re a good candidate, and that hand therapy is actually right for you.
Hand therapy can be particularly useful for patients who suffered an accident or trauma that left them with scars, wounds, burns, injured tendons or nerves, fractures, or amputation of fingers, hands, and arms. Those with conditions like tennis elbow and carpal tunnel also frequently benefit from hand therapy.
When to book an appointment
While hand therapy can address a wide range of issues, there are a few common instances when you should be sure to book an appointment. These include:
One of the most common reasons for seeking hand therapy, a wrist fracture is no fun for anyone. The sooner you get it checked out, the happier you’ll be.
Following an injury or surgery, custom splints can be a valuable part of the recovery process. Our certified hand specialists can design custom splints to help patients achieve optimal healing and support during recovery. They can fabricate splints that will help stretch and increase range of motion at a particular joint in the elbow, wrist and hand.
This typically occurs during rotational movements and weight bearing scenarios, and it can really put a damper on your softball season or gym schedule. Hand therapists can put together an effective program for managing ulnar-sided wrist pain, to reduce pain and improve your mobility.
With more than 70 hand specialists on our team, Professional PT is the largest provider of Certified Hand Therapy in the Northeast.
What are some of hand therapy’s main benefits?
Treatments that don’t require an operation
Reducing sensitivity to nerve issues
Relief from pain
Expedited timeline for returning to work
Increased ability to perform everyday tasks
Regaining feeling after a nerve injury
Help crafting personalized home exercise programs that will benefit your movement and strength
Teaching patient how to use splints to help improve stiffness
Our hand therapy services
ADL (Activities of Daily Living) Training
Custom Orthotic Fabrication
Home Exercise Programs
Physical Agent and Modalities
Sensory Desensitization and Re-education
Therapeutic Exercises to Improve Range of Motion and Function
Get hand therapy today
Our occupational therapists will diagnose your hand pain and customize a rehabilitation plan just for you. We will work in an effective way to get you back on your feet, focused on your wellness before, during and after therapy.
Choose from the location list on the form, to request an appointment at an HT clinic near you.
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Cake Boss’s Buddy Valastro Seeks
Hand Therapy Treatment with Professional PT
Well-known celebrity master baker, Buddy Valastro suffered a severe injury to his right hand and has undergone multiple surgeries. He chose Professional PT’s Deana Swanson, MS, OTR/L, CHT for his recovery treatment to help him return to work and get back to doing what he loves, baking!
Below is a condensed list of insurances we participate with throughout our network of physical therapy clinics. Find your particular provider below based on your area. For a complete listing of all insurance providers and individual plans by name: CLICK HERE FOR OUR FULL INSURANCE PAGE.
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