WHAT IS HAND THERAPY?
Hand Therapy is the practice of evaluating and treating problems of the upper extremity (elbow, wrist and hand). An evaluation is completed to determine the root of a complex condition. After the evaluation, the therapists provides education and therapy to reduce pain, improve motion, restore strength, and increase function.
WHAT IS DONE IN AN EVALUATION?
A Hand Therapy evaluation consists of gathering data to establish a starting point for therapy. During an evaluation, the therapist will obtain a history of your injury and measure the affected body part for range of motion (ROM), swelling, sensation, and strength (as appropriate). These measurements, along with knowledge about your injury will be used to establish a plan of care. The therapist will provide education about your injury, will begin treating the affected area, and will outline a home program to do between therapy sessions.
COMMON REASONS FOR HAND THERAPY
Hand Therapy treats many everyday conditions people experience. Some of the most common problems include:
- Elbow tendonitis
- Wrist tendonitis
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
- Trigger finger
- Thumb arthritis
Hand Therapy also works with people who have suffered traumatic injuries, including:
- Tendon lacerations
- Finger amputations
- Wrist fractures
- Finger fractures
- Ligament strains/sprains
- Joint dislocations
Treatment in Hand Therapy may include: the fabrication of custom splints, exercises/stretches to reduce pain, and progressive strengthening as each condition allows. Each hand is unique and individual. It is important to work with a specialist that will tailor exercises and activities to reduce pain and irritation from an upper extremity injury.
WHAT IS THE MAIN THING I WILL GAIN FROM HAND THERAPY?
The goal of Hand Therapy is to improve function and to reduce pain. The main thing you will take away from Hand Therapy is knowledge. By the end of your treatment course, you will have a strong understanding of tissue healing, what exercises to do for your injury, and how to prevent further or future injury.
HOW DO I KNOW WHEN THERAPY IS NEEDED?
If you have an elbow, wrist, or hand problem which affects your everyday function, then a hand therapy evaluation may be beneficial. We can treat persistent problems (like tennis elbow and arthritis) and new injuries alike. Please contact our clinic or discuss the problem with your MD.