Hand Therapy Q & A
What is hand therapy?
Hand therapy is either occupational or physical therapy that addresses the upper extremity. Hand therapy addresses injuries, pain, non-operative, pre-operative, or post-operative, developmental disabilities, or other conditions that may impact upper extremity function. We evaluate, assess, and provide interventions to address deficits in range of motion, strength, pain, edema, coordination, and overall function in everyday occupations.
How can hand therapy help manage pain?
A Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) is either an occupational therapist or physical therapist that has a degree and has practiced for three years or 4000 hours in direct hand therapy patient care, studied, and passed a certification exam. There are less than 7,000 CHT’s in the world due to the rigorous nature of the certification. Hand therapists work directly with patients of all ages from birth to death with upper extremity injuries or deficits in function to habilitate or rehabilitate and ensure they are reaching developmental milestones or improving function in everyday occupations. CHT’s have experience with hands-on manual therapy to improve range of motion, strength, edema, pain management, and soft tissue mobilization. They also have experience fabricating custom thermoplastic orthoses to immobilize, prevent deficits, or improve range of motion.
How many sessions will I need?
Hand therapy can help address numerous areas including range of motion, strength, scar mobilization, soft tissue mobilization, pain management, custom splinting, edema, lymphedema, coordination, and improving function in all everyday activities and occupations. The goal of hand therapy is to improve overall function by addressing deficits due to injury, development, or condition.
How can hand therapists help?
The number of sessions you need will be an entirely individual and personalized amount. This depends on your injury or condition, your recovery and progress, and how closely you follow your exercise treatment plan both in the clinic and at home. On average, our patients see us approximately 2-3 times per week for about 4-12 weeks. Once you are evaluated, the OT will be able to provide a more approximate number based on your specific needs.