Hand Therapy: Your Key to Regaining Function and Freedom
Our hands are our lifelines. They allow us to interact with the world, express our ideas, and show affection. But what happens when pain or injury makes even the smallest movements uncomfortable or impossible? This is where hand therapy, a specialized branch of physiotherapy, comes into play.
What is Hand Therapy?
Hand therapy is a specialized form of physiotherapy and occupational therapy that focuses on the assessment and treatment of injuries and conditions of the hand and arm, optimizing its functional use. Given the complexities of the hand, having a therapist with advanced training in the hand/upper extremity to treat your injury or condition ensures your recovery is fueled by targeted experience and knowledge for this important part of the body.
Who are Hand Therapists?
Hand therapists are licensed physiotherapists or occupational therapists who have extensive experience treating hand and arm injuries and conditions. Many of these clinicians are certified hand therapists, meaning they have completed the required education, logged hours of experience with other experienced therapists, and have passed a Hand Therapy certification exam.
Conditions Treated by Hand Therapy
Hand therapy can treat a wide range of hand injuries and conditions brought on by acute trauma, repetitive overuse injuries, and acquired conditions. Specific injuries and conditions treated by hand therapy include:
– Carpal tunnel syndrome
– Arthritis (rheumatoid and osteoarthritis)
– Post-fracture issues
– Nerve damage and hypersensitivity
– Repetitive strain injuries
– Acute strains and sprains
– Ligament injuries (i.e. damaged UCL with gamekeeper’s or skier’s thumb)
– Mallet finger (or baseball finger, when the fingertip droops and cannot straighten out independently)
– De Quervain’s tenosynovitis (condition affecting the tendons on the thumb side of your wrist)
– Trigger finger (or stenosing tenosynovitis, when the finger gets stuck in a bent position)
– Volar plate injury (when the finger is bent back too far)
Common Treatments for Hand Therapy
Techniques may vary, but some common treatments from a hand therapist may include:
– Wound care
– Suture removal
– Swelling reduction
– Scar management
– Hands-on strengthening exercises
– Active mobilization
– Return to work education and assistance
The benefits of these treatments include decreased pain and increased range of motion, as well as improved strength and functionality. A return to normal activity is the ultimate goal of hand therapy.
At Connect Physiotherapy & Exercise, we understand the importance of hands in our daily lives. Our team of certified hand therapists is committed to helping you regain the function and freedom you need to live your life to the fullest. Whether you’re dealing with a hand injury, wrist pain, or a chronic condition like arthritis, we’re here to help. With the help of a certified hand therapist, you can regain your hand function and get back to doing the things you love.
Remember, prevention is always better than cure. Regular exercises and proper ergonomics can go a long way in preventing hand and wrist injuries. However, if you’re already experiencing symptoms, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. Early intervention can often lead to better outcomes.
If you’re experiencing hand or wrist pain, or if you’ve suffered a hand injury, Connect with us today and let’s work together towards your recovery!