Hand Therapy – More Than Just Hand Injuries
When people think of orthopedic injuries they often think of knees, hips, and ankles. In reality, our hands are often exposed to over use and potential injury. When diseases, accidents, and repetitive stress lead to injuries of your upper extremities (hands, arms, elbows, forearms, wrists and shoulders) hand therapy might be the best treatment for you to consider.
What is Hand Therapy?
Hand therapy is the art and science of rehabilitating the hand and upper extremities. The practice of hand therapy combines the knowledge and practice of both occupational and physical therapy. The goal of hand therapy is to return a person to their optimal level of function.
Why Hand Therapy?
There are many different reasons you might want to see a hand therapist. Some common ailments that send people to a hand therapist are Tennis Elbow, Trigger Finger, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Arthritis, Sprains and Strains in the shoulder, wrist, elbow, or fingers, and other repetitive trauma related injuries. Hand therapy aims to eliminate surgery as an option for treatment, and it also helps rehabilitate your body after having surgery on your upper extremities.
What Makes a Hand Therapist Different?
Hand Therapists aren’t your everyday physical or occupational therapists. They must receive a Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) credential before they practice as a certified hand therapist. In order to obtain a CHT they must:
- Have a minimum of three years of clinical experience, including 4,000 or more hours in direct practice of hand therapy.
- Successfully pass a comprehensive test of advanced clinical skills and theory in upper quarter rehabilitation.
- Be recertified every five years by demonstrating continuous professional development and competency.
Because hand therapy treats more than just the hands, it’s necessary to talk to your doctors to correctly treat your upper extremity injury. If you think hand therapy might be an option for injury treatment, call 720-494-4750 to schedule a consultation with Front Range Orthopedics & Spine Physical Therapy today.