Hand Therapy is a type of rehabilitation performed by a physiotherapist with unique knowledge and training in the treatment of problems specific to the hand & upper limb. Therapy enables patients to hasten their return to a productive, active lifestyle after injury.
Patients who are candidates for hand therapy may have been affected by the onset of pain or have been impacted by an injury leaving them with wounds, scars, burns, injured tendons or nerves, fractures, or even amputations of the fingers, hands or arms. Others include patients who suffer from conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, wrist pain and tennis elbow, as well as from chronic problems such as arthritis or a neurological conditions (i.e. stroke).
What Does Hand Therapy Provide?
- Accurate diagnosis & treatment of hand, wrist & elbow problems
- Help with pain or stiffness in the hand, wrist & elbow
- Regaining movement, strength & dexterity in the upper limb after surgery
- Thermoplastic splinting for support and recovery
- Help to reduce sensitivity from nerve problems
- Help getting back to work & sport with the best recovery
- Help fostering a supportive and cohesive rehab environment between surgeon and GP
If surgery is needed, hand therapists can also help with a patient’s recovery. This may include assistance with helping wounds heal, preventing infection, scar management and reducing swelling.
“Hand therapists help to bridge the gap from medical management of upper extremity conditions to successful recovery, allowing individuals to functional 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. A hand therapist will employ a variety of techniques and tools, including activity & exercise programs, custom orthotic fabrication, management of pain & swelling and acute wound care.”
The conditions that a hand therapist can assist include:
Wrist & Hand
- Flexor and Extensor Tendon repairs
- Ligament sprains
- Distal radius & scaphoid fractures
- TFCC damage
- Wrist instability (carpal bones)
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- CMC joint arthritis
- Volar plate injuries
- Tennis/Golfers Elbow
- Ligament sprains
- Chronic, overuse conditions
- Radial head & olecranon fracture rehabilitation
- Post-operative rehabilitation
- Subacromial bursitis
- Frozen shoulder
- Tendinopathies and partial/full thickness tears
- AC joint/clavicular injuries
- Brachial Plexus injuries