Improved Recovery Benefits from a Hand Therapist
How Seeing a Hand Therapist Can Speed Up Your Recovery
Hand therapists are occupational therapists who, through advanced education and study, specialize in the evaluation and treatment of the hands as well as the upper extremities. A skilled hand therapist will use a variety of learned therapeutic interventions to aid in the healing and strengthening of several conditions and challenges.
Often working in conjunction with a physician, these qualified hand therapists will be able to treat and rehabilitate their patients through post-operative exercises, preventative treatments, and non-operative and conservative treatments. This continuum of care aids in the success of the patient’s healing and can get them back to their productive and healthy lives at a faster and safer rate.
What is the Difference Between a General Physical Therapist and A Specialized Hand Therapist?
A certified hand therapist (CHT) is either an Occupational Therapist or Physical Therapist who has furthered their education to focus on the upper extremities (which include the shoulders, arms, elbows, forearms, and wrists.) Along with their therapy certification, they also must practice for a minimum of 3 years, accumulate a minimum of 4,000 hours of treatment on hand and upper extremity disorders, and pass a rigorous and in-depth certification exam to prove their competence within the focused practice. CHTs also must renew their credentials every five years via continued education to be able to continue practicing as licensed CHTs.
What Conditions Can CHTs Help With?
Muscle Strains, Sprains
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
What Can CHTs Do that General Therapists Cannot?
Give accurate assessments of various upper extremity conditions and disorders
Offer immediate care and personalized treatment plans to reduce overall treatment time
A more comprehensive range of treatment options to lessen the patient’s need for multiple medical providers
Functional results that ensure a faster recovery timeframe
All-encompassing care for their patients
Why Should I See a CHT?
There are many reasons why consulting with a CHT could be beneficial to your recovery and health. While the list of reasons can go on and on, here are a few of the most common reasons why individuals seek the advice and treatment from a CHT.
Improves Mobility and Strength
Physical therapists are big movement advocates. You won’t find anyone else who are stronger proponents for movement. CHT’s will show you how to improve your mobility and strength that will aid in the recovery and longevity of your injured extremities.
Prevents Further Injury
By working with a CHT, the area of focus will become stronger and less likely to be injured again in the future.
Although it is not definite that working with a CHT will entirely prevent you from needing surgery, their use of conservative and more holistic treatments will lessen your likelihood of needing surgery.
It’s likely that the reason for seeing a physical therapist is due, in part, to pain management. CHTs can give practical exercises and treatment options that will lessen pain levels.
CHTs at Horizon can take the medical management of the upper extremities and bridge the gap for patients having a successful recovery. Their number one goal is to get you back to having normal function in your everyday life and do so by offering non-operative interventions, preventative care, and post-surgical rehabilitation. These therapists not only consider biomechanics in their work to rehabilitate their patients but also look to functional movement best practices and the unique situation of each patient, working with them to create a just as unique recovery plan that will get them healthier as efficiently as possible.
Learn About Hand Therapy Options
At Horizon, we have experienced and certified Hand Therapists who will help you to maximize your recovery and develop individualized-specific therapy programs to offer you the best possible results.
Contact us today to learn about the available treatment options.