Hand Therapy

  • Hand Therapy

    The hand and arm are amazing, complex parts of the human body and essential for all of our self-care, work and leisure activities. Whether writing with a pen, tying shoes, using gardening tools, operating a machine or throwing a ball, our hands and arms must be in good condition to successfully participate in daily activities. When we lose function or have pain due to accidents, disease, repetitive stress and conditions from birth, a highly skilled and specialized approach is essential to restore our upper limbs back to normal.

    What is a hand therapist?

    A hand therapist provides rehabilitation to the entire upper limb, including the hand, wrist, arm, elbow, and shoulder. A Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) is a licensed occupational therapist or physical therapist who has participated in advanced study. These professionals have worked more than 4,000 hours in treating the upper limb to be eligible to pass an exam that evaluates competency in all areas of upper limb therapy. To continue use of the CHT credential, therapists must participate in specialty education programs, contribute to scientific journals, teach or perform research. There are only 6,000 certified hand therapists worldwide.

    Select Physical Therapy’s parent company, Select Medical, employs more CHTs than any other organization within the United States. Select Physical Therapy is committed to providing more people access to hand therapists in their communities, instead of having to travel long distances for specialty therapy. To help resolve the shortage of CHTs, our hand therapists provide mentorship to occupational and physical therapists desiring to become CHTs.

    From our comprehensive student program, to hosting an annual national hand therapy symposium, to participating in clinical research, writing for publications, teaching at national and international conferences and providing many volunteer hours, you can count on receiving exceptional hand therapy care from our team.

    How hand therapy can help you!

    We treat the following conditions:

    • Pain in the hand/arm
    • Swelling, numbness, tingling, weakness
    • Therapy after surgical procedures
    • Arthritis
    • Carpal tunnel syndrome
    • Tendonitis, trigger finger
    • Tendon injuries
    • Broken bones/fractures
    • Amputations and prosthetic training
    • Joint stiffness
    • Dislocations and sprains
    • Jammed fingers/joints
    • Burns and scars
    • Cuts, infections, open wounds
    • Repetitive strain/pulled muscles
    • Dupuytren’s contracture
    • Congenital defects
    • Sports injuries
    • Work-related injuries

    At Select Physical Therapy, we work alongside your entire health care team, including your physician, to identify the specific problems you have and carefully advance you through the stages of treatment. Your hand therapist will work with you to create an individualized and comprehensive treatment program that is updated regularly to return you to work, life and athletics as rapidly as possible. Specialized evaluation may include work sites, work stations, musical instrument ergonomics and sports-specific analyses.

    Some specialty treatments include:

    • Custom splint fabrication
    • Instrument-assisted soft tissue techniques
    • Therapeutic taping
    • Manual therapy
    • Motor re-learning
    • Individualized strength and flexibility programs
    • Wound and scar care
    • Pain control
    • Electrical modalities
    • Sports- and musical instrument-specific therapy
    • Work simulation
    • Joint protection

    Even if you have a permanent arm or hand limitation, a hand therapist can provide you with techniques, education and equipment to allow you to perform activities with less pain and improved independence.

    For more information on conditions and treatment techniques, please contact a member of our highly trained hand therapy team today!

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