Hand therapy is the non-surgical management of hand disorders and injuries using physical methods such as exercise, electro modalities, custom orthotic fabrication or splinting, management of pain & swelling and wound & scar care. Hand therapy is a type of rehabilitation performed by an occupational or physiotherapy for patients that have conditions affecting the hands and upper extremities. Hand therapy has a crucial role in the recovery from injury of the hand or wrist, and in the recovery from hand surgical operations.
Hand therapy brings together techniques of occupational therapy (scar management, hand function retraining, splinting and advice on activities of daily living) and physiotherapy (joint mobilizations, stretching, active and resisted exercises and ultrasound).
What Does Hand Therapy Provide ?
Hand therapy 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. Hand therapy patients may have been affected by an accident, trauma or arthritis, or may have undergone surgery. Patients with chronic conditions, such as arthritis, or neurologic condition (such as a stroke) can benefit from therapy through functional retraining, education on joint protection and energy conservation, and with recommendations for adaptive equipment or devices to improve function.
What Can A Hand Therapist Do For You ?
Therapy is very important. Hand therapy helps patients return to their productive lifestyles. Therapy often starts with an initial evaluation. This will help the therapist learn what symptoms you have and what your goals are. They will review the prescription and treatment you have already started. The therapist will then perform a detailed exam. This will establish your baseline function. Then they will create a plan with goals and a timeline. This plan will help reach your desired function.
Hand therapy will include different treatments with the therapist. It will also include assignments to complete at home. The hand therapist can assist with emotional and psychological support, as well as with restoration of hand function.