Hand Therapy

A hand therapist is an occupational or physical therapist who specializes in rehabilitation of patients with conditions affecting the hands or upper extremities. A certified hand therapist has at least five years of experience, over 4,000 hours specifically in treatment of the upper quarter and has passed the national certification exam.

A hand therapist works with a variety of upper extremity disorders. For example, people who may have been affected by an accident or trauma resulting in burns, scars, injured nerves or tendons, or amputations of the finger, hand or arm.

Hand therapists also provide services for people suffering from cumulative trauma or repetitive motion disorders like carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow. People with chronic conditions such as arthritis or neurological conditions may also benefit from the services of a hand therapist.

Qualified hand therapists can work together with physicians to assess and identify problems of the upper extremity. The hand therapist can then provide services to effectively treat and rehabilitate the patient.

Hand therapy links:

  • Hand World (www.eatonhand.com/hw/index.htm) – These pages explain common hand problems in plain English. The brochures contain diagrams, but no gory pictures.
  •  Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association Of America – (www.rsds.org) This site is meant to increase your knowledge and awareness of reflex sympathetic dystrophy. I complex regional pain syndrome.
  •  Wheeless’ Textbook of Orthopedics – (www.wheelessonline.com) Click on the body part of the skeleton that you are interested in, and it will take you to a menu of conditions. Each of these are clearly explained.
  • Hand University – (www.handuniversity.com) An excellent website with clear illustrations and explanations of a wide variety of conditions of the hand and arm.