Hand therapy is a fairly common but underrated practice that involves working closely with a trained physical therapist. It’s a specialized form of physical or occupational therapy that is focused on the upper extremities and, in particular, the hand, arms, and even shoulders.

It’s very beneficial for those suffering from chronic pain, injuries, or other conditions that affect their hand health, range of motion, and flexibility. The therapy aims to help restore strength and functionality as well as post-operative and preventative care.

How does hand therapy differ from physical therapy?

Physical therapy is a broad practice that involves working with various parts of the body, whereas hand therapy is focused heavily on the region from your shoulder to your fingers. Every joint and muscle in this area comes under the umbrella of hand therapy, as your therapist closely works with either the purpose of occupational therapy or physical therapy.

The goals of hand therapy vary on a case by case basis, including the reason for seeking the service. Your therapist will provide you with a detailed evaluation, recommendations, and develop a program based on individual needs and requirements, as opposed to a one-size-fits-all model.

naked man with elbow pain

Who is a hand therapist?

Speaking of therapists, Certified Hand Therapists (CHT) are practitioners with certifications and specializations in Physical Therapy (PT) or Occupational Therapy (OT) and a minimum of 4000 hours of extensive training. Their area of expertise focuses on treating hand injuries, impairments, and other difficulties faced by their clients and must renew their licenses every five years.

CHTs have a keen understanding of kinesiology, anatomy, and physiology, which is what helps them have the expertise that they do. Your CHT will be able to identify the problem from a place of deep knowledge and understanding.

Do I need hand therapy?

Hand therapy can be used to treat a variety of conditions such as

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Golfer’s or tennis elbow
  • Radial tunnel syndrome
  • De-Quervain’s Tenosyniviys

And several others. These conditions occur as a result of repeated strain, trauma, or major and minor injuries, as well as surgical procedures. Hand therapy is a great way to restore mobility and work through scarring and inflammation to keep the skin supple, joint flexibility, and provide orthoses that give you better control and lowered strain.

fractured hand with plaster

When healing takes place after an injury or cumulative trauma, many people don’t realize the importance of therapy and guided movement for recovery. This is especially true for major injuries such as fractures and dislocations that can  cause permanent damage if left unattended.

If you struggle with wrist or hand pain, injuries, or conditions such as the above, feel free to consult our team of skilled and experienced CHTs. We offer finger fractures treatment, trigger finger treatment, hand pain therapy, and various other forms of hand therapy by occupational therapists Edison, NJGet in touch with us today!