What is Hand Therapy?
Hand therapy is the art and science of evaluating and treating injuries and conditions of the upper extremity (shoulder, arm, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand). It uses a number of therapeutic interventions to help return a person to their highest level of function. It evolved from the need for a specialist with the knowledge and experience required to manage the challenging recovery of complex hand and upper extremity injuries.
What is a Hand Therapist?
At Restored Hope, we treat:
What Conditions Can a Hand Therapist Help With?
A hand therapist who, through advanced continuing education, clinical experience and integration of knowledge in anatomy, physiology and kinesiology, has become proficient in treatment of pathological upper extremity conditions resulting from trauma, disease, congenital or acquired deformity. At Restored Hope, some of the conditions that we treat include:
- Trigger Finger
- Carpal and Cubital Tunnel Syndromes
- Sprains and Strains
- Breaks and Fractures
- Dupuytren’s Contracture
- Arthritis or Osteoarthritis
- Flexor Tendon Injuries
- Mallet Finger
- Ganglion Cyst
- Ligament Tears
- Tendon Transfer Neuro Re-Education
- Capitellum Injuries
- Distal Biceps Tendon Injuries
- Golfer’s Elbow
- Ligament Sprains or Tears
- Little League Elbow Syndrome
- Olecranon (Elbow) Bursitis
- Osteoarthritis of the Elbow
- Radial Head Injuries
- Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)
- Avascular Necrosis (Osteonecrosis)
- Biceps Tendon Tear at the Shoulder
- Bursitis of the Shoulder
- Chronic Pain
- Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis)
- Glenoid Labral Tear
- Impingement Syndrome of the Shoulder
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Rotator Cuff Injury
- Swimmer’s Shoulder
What Can a Hand Therapist Do for Me?
Hand therapists bridge the gap from medical management of upper extremity conditions to successful recovery, allowing individuals to function normally in their daily lives. Hand therapists provide non-operative interventions, preventative care and post-surgical rehabilitation for a wide variety of upper extremity disorders, from simple fingertip injuries to complex replanted extremities. Patients with chronic conditions, such as arthritis, or neurologic conditions, such as a stroke, can benefit from therapy through education on joint protection and energy conservation, and with recommendations for adaptive equipment or devices to improve function.
At Restored Hope Hand Therapy, we develop individualized treatment plans and employ a variety of techniques and tools to help you regain function and relieve upper extremity pain, including:
- Activity and exercise programs designed to increase motion, dexterity and strength, including exercises you can practice at home
- Custom splint fabrication to help protect your hand after a surgery, immobilize it, correct an injury or deformity, etc.
- Manual therapy and massage techniques
- Mobilization and stimulation of soft tissue and joints
- Electrical stimulation, TENS and/or iontophoresis
- Therapeutic modalities for tissue and joint preconditioning and mobilization to minimize pain and stiffness
- Joint protection and energy conservation training
- Behavioral management
- Pain management
- Patient and family education
- Techniques and suggestions for assistive devices
- Hand exercises and stretches
- Wound care and scar tissue management
- Cold and heat therapy
What are the Benefits of Hand Therapy?
The primary benefit of hand therapy is not only to restore function to biomechanical issues, but to restore the ability to perform the activities that mean the most to each patient to give them a rewarding lifestyle, physically and mentally.
Patients typically encounter:
- Increased psychological well-being, feeling a sense of normalcy by practicing familiar roles and habits
- Increased motivation for therapy participation as it represents a return to their normal way of living
- A stronger patient/therapist partnership as the patient plays an integral part in their own recovery and goals
Incorporating a patient’s usual activities into their treatment can improve their desire and willingness to actively partake in therapy, often leading to reaching their goals faster and with more accuracy.
Specifically, at Restored Hope Hand Therapy, you can expect to experience these benefits:
- Direct and experienced care from an expert hand therapist
- Results-driven and progressive injury-specific rehab
- Maximized functional outcome
- Restoration of your normal upper extremity function in the shortest time possible
- Assistance in a faster and healthier recovery from a surgery
- Relief from acute or chronic pain
- Assist with getting back to work and recreational activities as early as possible
- Guidance in pain management so that the psychological trauma of injury is reduced
- Improvement in range of motion and flexibility of the affected joint
- Wound assessment and management to minimize the formation of scar tissue
- Fabrication of a custom splint to provide complete support to the injured joint and treat any deformities
- Recommendation of specific exercises that can be performed to maximize the functionality of the upper extremity joints
- Guidance with proper techniques of using the hand to minimize pain and prevent further injuries
- Desensitization following a nerve injury or trauma
- Improvement with gripping ability and gross motor coordination