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Hand Therapy

Hand Therapy is the art and science of rehabilitation of the upper extremity. Using specialized skills in evaluation and treatment, hand therapists promote restoration of upper extremity mobility, strength and coordination to improve functional use in everyday activities. Since we use our hands and arms all day, any loss of function can be devastating.

Our experienced occupational therapists effectively manage injuries and medical conditions of the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder. Our staff includes a certified hand therapist (CHT) whose role includes guidance for the clinical direction of hand and upper extremity therapy. The CHT is an occupational therapist who:

  • Has a minimum of five years of clinical experience with 4000 hours or more of specialty experience in hand therapy.
  • Has successfully passed a comprehensive test of advanced knowledge in all areas of the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder.
  • Recertifies every five years by either acquiring 2000 hours of work experience and 80 hours of professional development (this may include research, teaching or continuing medical education) or successful completion of the Hand Therapy Certification Examination.

This specialty certification assures that the therapist has achieved the highest level of competency in the profession and stays current with practice within the field.

What diagnoses and medical conditions are commonly seen?

  • Amputations
  • Arthritis
  • Burns
  • Fractures and dislocations
  • Sprains and strains
  • Nerve injuries and conditions (i.e. neuropathies, palsies, nerve repair)
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Tendon injuries and conditions (i.e. lacerations, transfers, ruptures, tendonitis)
  • Impingement syndrome
  • Crush injuries or trauma
  • Ligamentous injury and instability
  • Muscle strains, tears and avulsions
  • Pain (i.e. complex regional pain syndrome, fibromyalgia)

What treatment techniques are commonly used during hand therapy?

  • Soft tissue and joint mobilizations
  • Custom splinting/orthotics
  • Range of motion exercises
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Coordination exercises
  • Modalities (ie. ultrasound, electric-stim, superficial heat and cold, etc.)
  • Training in activities of daily living and adaptive or assistive devices
  • Ergonomic and activity modification in home, work, school or leisure
  • Joint protection or energy conservation instruction
  • Desensitization
  • Sensory re-education
  • Pain management
  • Scar management

Program Referral Process

A prescription for Occupational Therapy is required. You can be referred to the program by your physician. To set up an appointment, call 315-624-4632.

Prescriptions may be faxed to 315-624-5395. Please note that prescriptions should state Occupational Therapy and treatment desired, have diagnosis listed and be dated within 30 days of appointment. Original physician signature or stamp is required (prescription cannot be co-signed).