What is Hand Therapy?


Definition of Hand Therapy

Hand therapy is the art and science of rehabilitation of the upper limb, which includes the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder girdle. It is a merging of occupational and physical therapy theory and practice that combines comprehensive knowledge of the structure of the upper limb with function and activity. 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 limb in order to enhance an individual’s ability to execute tasks and to participate fully in life situations.

Hand Therapy Certification Commission (HTCC) © 2016

What is a Hand Therapist?

A hand therapist is an occupational therapist or physical therapist who, through advanced study and experience, specializes in treating individuals with conditions affecting the hands and upper extremity. A hand specialist may also have advanced certification as a Certified Hand Therapist(CHT).

What Can A hand Therapist do for you?

Whether your injury is the result of an accident, a degenerative condition or simply too many hours spent on the computer, hand therapy can help. We provide postoperative rehabilitation and conservative treatment. Your treatment may include:  ​

- Home exercise program to increase motion, dexterity and/or strength

- Fabrication of a custom-made orthosis to protect healing structures and/or prevent further degeneration

- Training in the use of adapted methods and equipment to maintain or regain independence with daily activities

- Management of surgical incisions and wounds

- Management of scars including hypertrophic/keloid scar

- Desensitization program for scars or after a nerve injury/trauma

- Reduction of swelling

- Pain management (acute and chronic pain)

- Sensory re-education after nerve injury

- Conditioning prior to returning to work