What is hand therapy?
There are different specialties to occupational therapy, and hand therapy is one of them. Hand therapy focuses on treating orthopedic upper-extremity issues to optimize the functional use of the arm and hand. Hand therapy is used to treat several conditions surrounding the upper extremities, including but not limited to:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
In general, hand therapy focuses on the biomechanical issues of upper-extremity conditions. It’s a patient-centered approach that addresses the needs of the patient, such as being able to lift objects, open a jar, or button a shirt.
There are several interventions that a hand therapist can make, in order to help you comfortably perform daily functions. This may include any combination of therapeutic exercises, mirror therapy, orthosis design, pain management, manual therapy, taping, ergonomics, or compression therapy. There are several activities that a hand therapist may have you perform in order to strengthen your upper extremity after an injury, such as working with putty, using a gripper, or using dumbbells.
There are several benefits to hand therapy, including:
- Preventative, non-operative or conservative treatment
- Management of acute or chronic pain
- Desensitization following nerve injury or trauma
- Sensory re-education after nerve injury
- Design and implementation of home exercise programs to increase motion, dexterity, and/or strength
- Customized splint fabrication for prevention or correction of injury
- Training in the performance of daily life skills through adapted methods and equipment.
- Conditioning prior to returning to work
Contact California Rehabilitation today:
If you believe you or a loved one could benefit from hand therapy, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation today. Contact our Modesto or Ripon, CA occupational therapy office to get started on the path toward living a more comfortable and functional life!