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Hand Therapy

Hand therapy is the assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of hand and upper limb injuries. Hand therapy has addressed the particular need among people for a well-trained, experienced and knowledgeable specialist to handle the complex recovery processes of hand and upper extremity injuries, disease, and trauma. Hand therapy employs a variety of therapeutic mechanisms enabling patients to reclaim their optimal level of function.

 Signs and symptoms of Hand Therapy may include

  • Stiffness or inability to move your fingers or thumb.
  • Pain and tenderness.
  • Swelling and Bruising
  • Numbness in your hand or fingers
  • Severe pain that might worsen when gripping or squeezing or moving your hand.

If you think you might have a broken hand, see a doctor immediately, especially if you have numbness, swelling or trouble moving your fingers. A delay in diagnosis and treatment can lead to poor healing, decreased range of motion and decreased grip strength.

Types of Hand Therapy

Hand therapy consists of many different rehabilitation treatments that can be non-operative, preventative, or post-surgical, including:

  • Injury avoidance education
  • Soft tissue procedures
  • Range of motion activities
  • Joint movement
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Nerve desensitization
  • Whirlpools
  • Iontophoresis
  • Occupational conditioning
  • Strength exercises
  • Scar management
  • Dexterity training
  • Pain management
  • Hot or cold packs
  • Taping
  • Custom orthotic creation

Preparing For Your Hand Therapy Surgery

In most cases, hand fractures do not require surgery in order to heal. After being diagnosed through an X-ray, the bones of the hand may need to be set. Then the hand will be immobilized with a cast, split, or a brace. If it is required for surgery, there are a few preparation tips that we recommend you before your surgery and it is important to follow your surgeon advice.

What injuries and illnesses does Hand Therapy treat?

Hand therapy treatment helps patients in reducing the pain and in reclaiming average mobility and functionality. The following list includes the most common conditions hand therapists treat:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome: hand or arm
  • Cubital Tunnel Syndrome: hand or arm
  • Ganglion Cyst: hand or wrist
  • Trigger finger: finger
  • Burns and wounds: any part of upper extremity
  • Amputations: any part of upper extremity
  • Trauma to the hand: hand
  • Sprains, Dislocations, and Fractures: any part of the upper extremity
  • Golfer’s Elbow: fingers, hands, wrist, or elbow
  • Tennis Elbow: outer elbow, forearm, or wrist
  • Arthritis: any part of the upper extremity
  • De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis: wrist
  • Dupuytren’s Contracture: ring and pinky finger

Post Operative Activities

  • Use of ice to the surgical area may help relieve some discomfort. Apply for 20 minutes on followed by 20 minutes off.
  • Recovery after hand surgery depends greatly on the type of surgery that was performed and the underlying cause of the hand condition. Sometimes, repeat surgeries are needed. The hand is an intricate part of our lives and is very sensitive.
  • Mild to severe pain may be expected after many types of hand surgeries. Pain medications may be given to help alleviate the discomfort.
  • There may be some restrictions placed on activities and work after the surgery. This also will be determined by your physician, based on an individual basis.
  • Your hand may be immobilized in a bandage or splint after surgery. Your physician will decide the length of time of the immobilization. After some surgeries, the hand may be immobilized for months at nighttime to enhance recovery.

Benefits from Hand Therapy

Hand therapy can benefit patients in many ways:

  • It helps patients in regaining nerve function
  • It helps to get relief from joint pain
  • It helps in restoring lost muscle strength
  • It helps to manage the scars
  • It eliminates the need for corrective surgery

Book Appointment For Hand Therapy

Frequently Asked questions About Hand Therapy

Hand Therapy is the art and science of rehabilitation of the upper limb, which includes the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder girdle. It is a merging of occupational therapy and physical therapy theory and practice.
You will need to attend your therapy sessions until you, your physician and your therapist decide that you have reached your desired level of function or that further therapy would not be beneficial.
The goal of our therapists is to help patients recover the use of their hands, or other areas of the upper extremity. We get to know the unique needs of each of our patients, including any issues relating to pain. We strongly encourage patients to engage in an open discussion with their treating therapist, with any concerns regarding pain, levels of discomfort, or treatment as a whole. We focus on goals that will aid in patient recovery, allowing us to achieve a balance between discomfort and healing.
Loose comfortable clothing is preferred. Your arm and injury site should be easily exposed, so that the therapist can see and feel the entire area.
Our Occupational Therapists assist individuals who are in need of increasing flexibility, decreasing pain or building strength. Additionally, we help patients who have undergone surgeries and who are in need of therapy to regain optimal physical functionality.
Hand therapists is an occupational therapist or physical therapist who provide non-operative interventions, preventative care and post-surgical rehabilitation. They treat patients who suffer from chronic problems which affect upper extremity function, such as diabetes, neurological conditions, autoimmune disorders, pain, focal dystonia, congenital anomalies and psychogenic disorders involving the upper quarter.
Patients who have fractures, tendinitis, lacerations (lesions) or tears, sprain or trauma, wounds, hyposensitivity or hypersensitivity, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), amputation (finger) and arthrosis or arthritis are eligible for hand therapy treatment.
There are no known side effects of hand therapy but you should strictly follow the instructions of the occupational therapists. If you are being treated by unprofessional occupational therapists, then you could experience swelling along with pain that might lead to pain and poor motivation. You can also use ice pack on your affected area until and unless suggested by your therapist.
There is no restriction or an eligibility criterion for such therapies, as these focuses on the betterment of a person. In some cases, medications are involved so it would be safe to consult your physician about your body condition. If the injury is specific to any other body parts like legs, back or abdomen, then you should undergo physical therapy or other forms therapies instead of hand therapy.
The results of hand therapy treatment will depend on an individual’s healing rate as well as the condition being treated. It also depends on the type of injury, trauma or wound you have suffered. Every condition is different and everyone heals at different rates. A good therapist will track progress and check whether you are making gains in range of motion, function, and strength but you should also strictly follow the instructions of your therapist to achieve the permanent results.

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