Hand therapy is both an art and a science. This specific type of physical and occupational therapy focuses on rehabilitating the upper extremity, which includes the shoulder, upper arm, elbow, forearm, wrist, hand, thumb and fingers. Using specialized skills, the hand therapists at Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of Houston develop individualized treatment plans to address musculoskeletal conditions affecting the upper extremity. We take a collaborative approach to hand therapy, which involves working closely with each patient, as well as his or her physicians and surgeons, to help ensure the best possible functional outcome and quality of life.
Candidates for hand therapy include individuals who have been diagnosed with an orthopedic condition that affects the upper extremity, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow or arthritis, as well as those who have sustained trauma that resulted a wound, scar, burn, tendon injury, nerve injury, fracture or amputation of an arm, hand or finger.
A customized hand therapy program can provide a number of benefits. For instance, this type of rehabilitation can:
- Provide relief from chronic pain and stiffness
- Improve sensation
- Enhance strength, flexibility and range of motion
- Promote a return to function, including work and other daily activities
- Facilitate an ability to perform certain tasks using special tools (if necessary)
- Delay or eliminate the need for surgery
For patients who undergo surgery, hand therapy can also accelerate the post-operative recovery process. For instance, a hand therapist can recommend specific therapies, such as manual stretching, hot/cold therapy and orthosis (custom splinting), which are designed to promote healing, prevent infection, reduce scar tissue formation and minimize swelling.
Due to the complexity of the upper extremity, injuries and conditions affecting this part of the body can be challenging to diagnose and treat. For this reason, specialist care is especially important. If you’d like to request an appointment with a certified hand therapist at Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of Houston, TX, contact us today.