Hand therapy is a specialty practice area under the allied health occupational therapy group. They are mainly concerned with treating orthopedic-based upper extremities (elbows, forearms, wrists, palms, fingers) to optimize the functional and mobility use of the upper extremity.
We work closely with orthopedic surgeons and hand surgeons whose clients may or may not require upper limb rehabilitation. Therapy will start as soon as possible before and after surgery, to accelerate the healing process as well as minimize scar formation. In the hands where everything is very compacted, a small scar can change a lot of the dynamics inside.
Common diagnoses seen by us in this area physical therapy practice includes fractures in the bones of the arm or hand, sprains and strains of the ligaments in the joints and connective tissues, lacerations, cuts, amputations, burns and surgical repairs of tendons and nerves of the hand and arm.
Additionally, we often treat and managed acquired conditions such as repetitive strain injuries (carpal tunnel syndrome, de Quervain's tenosynovitis, trigger finger etc), as well as tendonitis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis . We address biomechanical issues underlying upper-extremity conditions.
As primarily occupational therapists, the hand occupational therapist often uses an occupation-based and client centred approach to hand rehabilitation by identifying the needs of the clients, and then tailoring interventions to improve performance in their preferred activities and tasks - it can be wanting to drive again, to open a can of Coke etc.
Some of our physiotherapists and hand therapists' treatment includes:
1) Safety And Injury Integrity Education
2) Home exercises
3) Joint Mobilization
4) Modalities (Hot/Cold)
5) Specific Exercises
6) Tendon Gliding Exercises
7) Scar Management
8) Sensory re-education
9) Splinting and Braces
10) Work Hardening
11) Ergonomics : Decreasing Injuries At The Workplace
Where to next?