Have you recently sustained an injury to your hand, wrist, elbow, or shoulder? Is it causing you a great amount of pain or resulting in an inability to perform your normal daily tasks and activities?
Hand therapy is one method of treatment for conditions such as these. If you’re struggling to accomplish things without pain in your upper extremities, contact a hand therapist at our clinic today to schedule an appointment with one of our therapists!
What is hand therapy?
Hand therapy is a specialized area of occupational therapy. It focuses on treating orthopedic upper-extremity issues to optimize the functional use of the arm and hand. Typical conditions that affect the hand are lacerations, amputations, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, fractures, and rheumatoid arthritis.
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 things, open a jar, or button a shirt. If there are things you find you are unable to do that you used to be able to do with ease,
Common upper extremity injuries and pain conditions
There are several common conditions and injuries that our patients receive therapy for, including the following:
- Rotator cuff tears
- Distal radius fractures
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Burns, scarring
- Shoulder and finger dislocations
- Tennis elbow
- Golfer’s elbow
- Radial nerve palsy
Benefits of hand therapy
There are several benefits of hand therapy for upper extremity conditions. Hand therapy is a preventative, non-operative, and conservative treatment option for pain conditions. It allows a person to avoid having to depend on medication for pain relief. It can also teach you how to manage your own acute or chronic pain at home on your own as well.
Hand therapy can decrease nerve sensitivity after an injury or trauma, provide sensory re-education, and can also help someone to return to work after an injury. This method of treatment involves the design and implementation of home exercise programs to increase motion, dexterity, and/or strength. A hand therapist can also help to train you in the performance of daily life skills through adapted methods and equipment.
What to expect with hand therapy
A hand therapist typically uses manual techniques to manipulate the affected arthritic 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 manage your pain and keep symptoms at bay.
Depending on the severity of your condition, your hand therapist may recommend the use of a custom orthosis to help move your progress along. There is a multitude of different braces that may help in making daily activities easier to perform.
How can a custom orthotic help me?
Custom braces can help with the alignment of joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, allowing for optimum healing. By working closely with one of our highly trained hand therapists, you can be confident that you have the proper brace for facilitating healing and protecting your hands during everyday tasks.
Our clinic can create a custom orthotic specifically for your needs. We offer a wide range of orthotics for the hands, aimed at articulating and immobilizing, to help aid in pain management during certain activities. Many people with chronic conditions, such as arthritis, have found success and relief with our orthotic devices.
Our hand therapists will conduct a physical evaluation to examine the current levels of mobility in your upper extremity. From there, they will design a personalized treatment plan and custom orthotic that will help relieve pain, improve your range of motion, and increase strength in your arthritic hand(s).
Call our clinic for an appointment today
Do you have an injury or medical condition that is causing pain and limiting your daily activities? Would you like to learn more about how hand therapy can help you eliminate your pain and improve performance? We’ll educate you and be happy to set up a one-on-one consultation.