Hand Therapy

Hand therapists are occupational therapists who, through extra training and experience, specialize in evaluation and treatment of a variety of conditions related to the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder. A qualified hand therapist can evaluate and treat any problem relative to the upper extremity. Learn more about hand therapy.

Common problems addressed by hand therapists include:

  • Arthritis conditions related to the hand, wrist, elbow or shoulder
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Nerve or tendon damage
  • Tendonitis
  • Neurological disorders
  • Burns
  • Fractures
  • Acute or chronic pain conditions

Hand therapists can effectively treat and rehabilitate the patient after surgery, as well as assist with preventative measures, and conservative treatment or industry consultation. Working closely with the physician and patient to provide a continuum of care, hand therapists often start their work shortly after injury or surgery and continue therapy as needed to help the patient return to full productivity.

Diverse Treatment Options

Some of the techniques and treatments a hand therapist may use include:

  • Moist heat, paraffin, ultrasound, iontophoresis, cold packs or electrical stimulation
  • Massage
  • Swelling reduction techniques
  • Custom splinting for prevention or corrections of injury
  • Mobilization of joints
  • Active and passive range of motion treatments
  • Customized exercise programs to increase motion, dexterity and strength
  • Desensitization/sensory re-education
  • Training in daily life skills through adapted methods and equipment
  • Evaluation of work station design to improve ergonomics and prevent future injury or re-injury

Regular exercise, such as walking, playing tennis, weight lifting, yoga or using a rowing machine can reduce the likelihood of bone fractures in people with osteoporosis.