Hand Therapy

Hand therapy is the art and science of rehabilitation of the upper limb, which includes the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder girdle. Using specialized skills in assessment, planning and treatment, hand therapists provide therapeutic interventions to prevent dysfunction, restore function and/or reverse the progression of pathology of the upper extremity. This enhances an individual’s ability to execute tasks and to participate fully in life day-to-day situations.

Benefits of Working with A CHT

The Certified Hand Therapist credential offers assurance to the public that the therapist has achieved the highest level of competency in the profession and stays up to date with practice within the field.  The anatomic complexity of the hand necessitates a high level of competence by therapists with advanced skills in upper quarter rehabilitation.

Common Diagnoses Treated by a Certified Hand Therapist

  • Amputations
  • Arthritis and rheumatic diseases
  • Crush injuries/mutilating trauma
  • Cumulative trauma disorders
  • Cysts and tumors
  • Dislocations and subluxations
  • Fractures
  • Ligamentous injuries and instabilities
  • Muscular strains, tears and avulsions
  • Nerve injuries and conditions (neuropathies, palsies, nerve repairs)
  • Replantation and revascularization
  • Central nervous system injuries
  • Tendon injuries and conditions (lacerations, transfers, tendonitis, ruptures)
  • Thermal and electrical injuries
  • Vascular disorders
  • Wounds and scars

Treatment Techniques and Tools

  • Compression therapy
  • Desensitization
  • Design and/or selection of adaptive/assistive devices
  • Ergonomic and activity modification in home, work, school or leisure
  • Exercise
  • Functional activity
  • Joint protection instruction/energy conservation instruction
  • Manual Therapy
  • Modalities (ultrasound, electrical stimulation, fluidotherapy, paraffin)
  • Splinting/orthotic design, selection, fitting, fabrication and training (static and dynamic)
  • Patient education
  • Sensory re-education
  • Wound/Scar Management