Hand Therapy

  • The hand is an amazing, complex part of the human body, essential for all of our daily self-care, work and everyday activities. Whether writing with a pen, typing on a computer or turning a screwdriver, our hands are important tools in our daily lives. When the hand and upper extremity are unable to function properly due to accidents, disease, repetitive stress and conditions from birth or acquired syndromes, a specialized approach is essential.

    Hand therapy focuses rehabilitation of the hand and upper limbs and is the merging of occupational therapy and physical therapy theory and practice. Several of our highly skilled physical and occupational therapists go on to become certified hand therapists and are proficient in the treatment of hand and upper extremity pathologies, from the acute to the chronic.

    Certified hand therapists work directly with the referring physician and the patient to treat the following:

    • Tendon injuries
    • Peripheral nerve injuries
    • Crush injuries
    • Repetitive motion disorder

    Hand Therapy Services

    • Post-operative management of upper extremity
    • Custom orthoses for the upper extremity
    • Joint mobilization
    • Instrument-assisted soft tissue techniques
    • Manual therapy
    • Taping techniques
    • Wound and scar management
    • Edema management
    • Work simulation
    • Range of motion
    • Strengthening
    • Arthritis

    Certified Hand Therapist Criteria

    The process to become a certified hand therapist (CHT) is rigorous. An occupational therapist or physical therapist needs to have a minimum of three years of clinical experience, including more than 4,000 hours of direct practice in hand therapy.

    Therapists must:

    • Successfully pass a national certification exam, administered by the Hand Therapy Certification Commission
    • Clinicians with CHT designation are required to re-certify every five years through accredited advanced continuing education.

    Services vary by location. Find a local Select Physical Therapy center to see if hand therapy services are offered near you.