What is a Hand Therapist?

Hand Therapist

Physical therapy is something we may have all heard about, but hand therapy might be unfamiliar territory. Although physical therapy and hand therapy are similar, there are some major differences between the two that should be understood.  We use our hands every single day.  Our hands are very important and should be taken care of, so we have outlined what you need to know about hand therapists.

What is a hand therapist?

Hand therapy is a mixture of physical therapy and occupational therapy to treat conditions and injuries of the upper extremities and get patients back to their original range of motion.

Although they are called hand therapists, they treat more than just the hands. Hand therapists care for injuries and conditions of the upper extremities such as fingers, wrists, forearms, elbows and shoulders.

Hand therapists conduct a thorough examination of the injured area to reach a diagnosis and formulate a plan of action.

Hand therapists use many tools and techniques along with unique exercise programs for treatment. They also craft custom splints and braces for patients with tendonitis, carpal tunnel, fractures and other conditions.

What conditions do hand therapists treat?

  • Arthritis
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Wrist Pain
  • Shoulder injuries (i.e., Rotator cuff tear/repair, thoracic outlet, labral tears/ repairs)
  • Fractures and crush injuries
  • Ligament injuries, strains, and sprains
  • Sports injuries of the upper extremity
  • Tendon and nerve repairs
  • Wound and burn management

Learn more about what other common injuries that are treated by certified hand therapists here. 

If you are suffering from an injury or chronic pain in your upper extremities, hand therapists are who you should turn to. At Memphis Physical Therapy, our goal is to facilitate healing while reducing pain and restoring range of motion, strength and coordination.  We want to get you back to your best functional status as quickly as possible.

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