Knee Replacement SignsHand therapy is a form of physical and occupational therapy designed to help improve hand and upper extremity function. It can help people recover from injuries or disabilities, reduce pain, and improve their ability to perform daily tasks. Hand therapists are specially trained healthcare professionals who understand the intricate anatomy of the hands and how they work together with other body parts to complete everyday activities. Through assessment and treatment techniques, they strive to maximize a patient’s functioning in all areas of life, whether it be sports, driving, self-care, or hobbies.

If you are experiencing hand pain or have suffered from a hand injury, hand therapy may be the best option for you. At OAA Orthopedic Specialists, our hand and wrist specialists offer a large range of care regarding upper extremity injuries. If surgery is required, our highly-skilled surgeons at OAA will ensure the best treatment and follow-up care to reduce risk factors and enhance the healing process.

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Whether it is to treat an injury or regain strength, hand therapy can help. Here is everything a patient should know about hand therapy.

What Is Hand Therapy?

Hand therapy is a specialized form of occupational and physical therapy focused on helping individuals with ailments or injuries that affect the hands. This can include joint pain, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, muscle spasms, nerve pinching, and more. Hand therapists assess the problem and create individualized treatment plans that focus on restoring strength, range of motion, and dexterity in the hand using techniques like stretching, splinting, and exercise. It may also involve helping patients modify their lifestyles to prevent further injuries or issues. Hand therapy is often used in conjunction with other treatments such as medication or surgery to provide comprehensive treatment for hand conditions.

What Conditions Does Hand Therapy Treat?

Hand therapy can be used to treat a wide range of conditions, including but not limited to, carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, tendonitis, joint pain, fractures and dislocations, sprains and strains, arthritis, nerve compression, and lacerations. It can also be used in postoperative care after a hand injury or surgery.

Through a combination of stretching exercises, manual treatments, and splinting techniques, hand therapists work with individuals to relieve pain and improve the strength, range of motion, and dexterity in the affected area. Hand therapy can also help people who are at risk of losing mobility due to age by providing preventative care that helps maintain healthy joints and connective tissues in the hands.

Who Is Hand Therapy For

Hand therapy is for anyone looking to rehabilitate or improve the strength and mobility in their hands. People who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, tendonitis, joint pain, fractures and dislocations, sprains and strains, arthritis and lacerations can all benefit from hand therapy. It is also beneficial for people who are recovering from a hand injury or post-operative care after surgery as well as those at risk of losing mobility due to age.

Hand therapy provides a comprehensive approach to restoring hand health through personalized treatment plans that incorporate manual treatments, splinting techniques, and specific stretching exercises aimed at relieving pain while increasing range of motion, strength, and dexterity.

What to Expect From Hand Therapy

Receiving hand therapy typically involves an initial evaluation by the therapist. During this evaluation, the therapist will assess the condition of your hands and ask you questions about your medical history to better understand your specific needs. The therapist will then create a personalized treatment plan and explain what you can expect during your individualized sessions.

Hand therapy may involve various techniques such as splinting, stretching, manual treatments, and therapeutic exercises. These treatments are aimed at relieving pain while increasing range of motion, strength, and dexterity in affected areas. You may also be asked to perform certain activities or tasks at home as part of your treatment plan. During each session, the therapist evaluates your progress and adjusts their approach according to how well you are progressing towards healing and recovery. Hand therapy is often used in conjunction with other forms of treatment such as medication or surgery for a comprehensive approach to restoring hand health.

Benefits of Hand Therapy

Hand therapy provides a wide range of benefits for people who are looking to improve their hand health. It can effectively reduce pain, improve strength and mobility, help restore normal function, and decrease the risk of future injury or disability. Hand therapy can help you achieve your desired outcome faster than other modalities, as it treats the underlying cause of the ailment rather than just addressing the symptoms.

Additionally, hand therapy offers long-term results that can last for months or even years with proper maintenance. It also helps people regain independence and confidence in their daily activities such as brushing their teeth or opening jars with ease. With careful instruction and support from an experienced therapist, hand therapy proves to be an effective and safe treatment choice to improve overall functionality.

How to Know If You Need Hand Therapy

Knowing whether you need hand therapy can be a difficult decision to make. If you are experiencing any of the common signs or symptoms of hand injury such as pain, swelling, stiffness, decreased range of motion, numbness, or tingling sensations in the hands or fingers, it is important to seek medical advice from your doctor. They may refer you for further evaluation, treatment, or to a certified hand therapist. If you have recently had surgery or experienced severe trauma to the hands and arms, such as a fracture or dislocation, then consulting a hand therapist is highly recommended.

Additionally, if you are noticing gradual changes in your ability to perform everyday tasks due to age-related issues like arthritis, a visit with a professional hand therapist may also be beneficial. With their expertise, they can establish an individualized treatment plan that will help reduce pain and improve function.

If you or someone you know is struggling with hand mobility or is in search of a hand therapist, visit our team of specialists at OAA Orthopedic Specialists at one of our six locations or request a consultation appointment directly from our website today!