What Is Hand Therapy?

Thursday July 22, 2021

What Is Hand Therapy?

Occupational therapy is the only profession that helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). Occupational therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, and prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, or disability.  

Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy services typically include: 

  • an individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals, 
  • customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals, and 
  • an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan.  

Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment and/or task to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team. It is an evidence-based practice deeply rooted in science.  

 

Occupational therapy at Sisu Therapies focuses on hand and upper extremity care/treatment to allow people to return to everyday activity. If you are experiencing pain, limited range of motion or decreased strength as a result of injury, surgery, arthritis, tendinitis or disability we can help return you to your favorite activities.  

 

Hand therapy is a form of occupational therapy. While the title only specifies hands, this form of therapy focuses on the upper extremity as a whole, which also includes the wrist, forearm, elbow, arm, and shoulder. Hand therapists will treat injuries and ailments that affect the upper extremity and work toward returning the affected area to its highest level of function.

At Sisu Therapies our patients are our first priority, and we are happy to announce that our occupational therapist, Lisa Buckner, is also a Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) who will be able to aid you in the recovery and rehabilitation of any upper extremity injury you may experience. Through her advanced training and skill set, Lisa is able to offer custom splinting in-house, making it more convenient for our patients’ recovery. If you are suffering from pain in the upper extremity, or if you have been living with a chronic condition that has been affecting the upper extremity, don’t hesitate to call us today! We will schedule an appointment for you and figure out the best steps for your treatment plan.

BUT HOW EXACTLY DOES IT WORK?

A hand therapist typically uses manual techniques to manipulate the affected area, in order to release tension, swelling, and pain. Through the use of massage and hands-on treatments, patients can find significant improvement - sometimes after just one session! In some cases, additional techniques, such as ice and heat therapies, ultrasound, or electrical stimulation may also be used as part of your treatment plan, in order to enhance the healing process.

Perhaps one of the biggest roles of a hand therapist, however, is prescribing targeted stretches and exercises. These will be dependent upon your diagnosis and will focus on improving your range of motion, strength, and overall function, so you can safely and comfortably perform your daily activities once again. A large part of hand therapy is helping patients regain their independence in day-to-day tasks and improving their quality of life.

GET BACK ON TRACK TODAY

Whether you are looking for relief, looking to prevent an injury, or simply looking to improve your physical function, occupational therapy is here for you. Your occupational therapist will work closely with you, in order to help you reach your goals. If you’re ready to get started on the path toward improved health, contact our office today!

 

If you or someone you know could benefit from occupational therapy, call Sisu Therapies at 970.561.7111 or request an appointment for your consultation today!