If you have hand pain or any kind of disability in your hand and/or wrist, you may be considering hand therapy. This is a specialized kind of therapy that is an effective, non-surgical, non medicinal treatment for issues affecting the hand and arm.
Hand therapy involves the use of various modalities to promote healing and to help you regain the full function of your hand. Let’s talk about some of the things you can expect in hand therapy, and where you can go near you to receive this surprisingly effective type of physical therapy for your hand.
How Can Hand Therapy Help Me?
Hand therapy is rehabilitation that aims to help you return to your productive lifestyle. Hand therapists work with patients who are experiencing pain, reduced flexibility, or reduced range of motion in the hand or arm following physical trauma or surgery. This therapy can also help you manage a chronic hand condition, like arthritis.
A hand therapist can help:
- Reduce hand pain and inflammation
- Treat wounds
- Improve strength, range of motion, flexibility, and function
- Decrease stiffness
- Reduce nerve-related problems, such as pain, weakness, and numbness
- Reduce or soften internal scar tissue to enable greater flexibility
- Patients get back to work, sports, or other activities
- Speed up recovery following surgery
- Prevent future injury
- Patients with amputations lead functional lives
What Conditions Can Hand Therapy Treat?
Common conditions that a hand therapist treats include:
- Tendon disorders, such as tendonitis, tennis elbow, and trigger finger
- Nerve disorders, such as cubital tunnel syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome
- Wrist pain
- Sprains and strains
- Amputations (of fingers, hand, or arm)
What Treatment Techniques Are Used?
- Active and resistive exercises to improve strength and function
- Heat and cold therapy
- Electrical stimulation therapy
- Retraining of the hand, fingers, and arm
- Guidance on carrying out day-to-day activities and preventing injury
- Guidance on how to use assistive devices with completing daily tasks
- Wound management
Hand therapists use a holistic and personalized treatment approach, and they involve patients directly in their own care. Therapy requires a level of commitment and motivation in order for treatment to be most successful.
To get the most from your hand therapy treatment, be sure to follow the home exercise/stretching program you’re given by your hand therapist. This will help you to maintain and maximize progression and recovery.
Does Hand Therapy Hurt?
Because hand therapy involves exercising a painful or injured area, therapy may cause some minor discomfort. You should communicate with your therapist if you experience pain during your appointment, to ensure it is normal.
Where Can I Find a Professional Hand Therapist?
If you have hand pain or any kind of disability in your hand or arm, and you would like to learn more about hand therapy, contact us at H2 Health. We have certified physical and occupational therapists, including specially certified hand therapists, who are uniquely trained in diagnosing and treating many conditions and injuries.