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Overview

Hand Therapy: Treatment, Cost and Side Effects

What is the Hand Therapy? How is the Hand Therapy treatment done? Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?) Who is not eligible for the treatment? Are there any side effects? What are the post-treatment guidelines? How long does it take to recover? Are the results of the treatment permanent? What are the alternatives to the treatment?

What is the Hand Therapy?

Hand Therapy is a type of rehabilitation performed or provided by an occupational or physical therapists to patients suffering from conditions or difficulties affecting the upper extremity of the body (shoulder, arm, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand). The upper body helps an individual to perform a number of movements and activities by providing dexterity and strength. We all know that our body including the upper body is made up of bones, tedons, muscles, nerves, veins, ligaments and connective tissues that can get damaged easily due to a number of reasons. When the upper body parts get damaged, a hand therapist bridges the gap between medical supervision to post-treatment recovery allowing an individual to return to a normal lifestyle.

Through proper application of advanced education, clinical experience and integration of knowledge in anatomy, physiology and kinesiology (muscle testing to identify imbalances in the body’s structural, chemical and emotional energy), hand therapists are able to provide treatments without an operation, helps with pain management and helps to reduce sensitivity from nerve problems. He or she will help you in making splints to prevent and improve muscle stiffness, helps you performing everyday activities, and provides you with home exercise programs to help with movement and building strength and helps you to get back to work.

How is the Hand Therapy treatment done?

A qualified hand therapist will evaluate your deformity, swelling, sensitivity and difference in colour to determine the scope, limitations and severity of the injury or operations. His or her main goal is to restore function, limit the progression of pathology or prevent upper limb dysfunction through rehabilitative, preventive, non-operative and conservative treatment. The therapists will work closely with the patient and doctor to provide optimum care and support.

A hand therapist will require a certification whose credential will depend on the number of years he or she has practiced (minimum being five), have done at least 4,000 hours of clinical treatment for hand and has the required certification exam. Therefore, a CHT (Certified Hand Therapist) will employ a variety tools and techniques, including soft tissue mobilization, joint mobilization, wound care, scar management, edema control, custom splint fabrication, ergonomic/workstation instruction, pain control, biofeedback work/functional retraining, training and activity modification, therapeutic modalities like heat, ice, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, shortwave diathermy and manual therapy.

A hand therapy treatment provides relief from pain, helps in reduction of sensitivity, learns to move their hands to do their daily activities, helps in making splints to prevent or improve stiffness and helps you get back to work.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Hand therapy can be provided in a number of cases ranging from fractures, tendinitis, lacerations (lesions) or tears, sprain or trauma, wounds, hyposensitivity or hypersensitivity, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), amputation (finger) and arthrosis or arthritis and stroke.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

If the trauma or injury is specific to any other body parts like legs, back or abdomen, then you will not undergo hand therapy and instead undergo physical therapy or other forms therapies.

Are there any side effects?

As there are no known side effects of hand therapy but if done improperly or by an unprofessional occupational therapists, then go to a doctor immediately if you develop these symptoms as a result of hand therapy. You can experience pain that might lead to pain and poor motivation. Discuss this with your therapists or doctor. You can also experience swelling along with pain. Ask your therapists whether you can use ice pack post session of therapy. This can lead to feeling depressed with lack of outcome or result from hand therapy. Remember that the purpose of hand therapy is to provide relief and not to cause you pain or stress.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

There are no definite post-treatment guidelines for hand therapy as the procedure forms a part of post-treatment recovery.

How long does it take to recover?

As hand therapy is a post-treatment procedure, the recovery period is inclusive of hand therapy and will depend on the type of injury, wound or trauma a person have suffered. Generally recovery takes an average of two to three weeks.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The result of hand therapy will depend on the type of injury, trauma or wound you have suffered and also whether you are following the instructions of the occupational therapists diligently. If all of the above holds true, then results are usually permanent.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Depending on the type of injury or trauma you experience or have, you can go for chiropractor instead of hand therapist to give you relief and support.

Popular Questions & Answers

I am 64 years old, and I am under medication for rheumatoid arthritis and miosytieos for past 15 years. I am taking azoran 50 mg twice a day, hcqs 200 mg one per day, omnacortil 5 mg per day and shelcal -hd 500 mg one per day. Can I go ahead for taking covid injection? Please give your advice.

MS orthopaedic, MBBS, GDMO, Senior Resident, SR Doctor
Orthopedic Doctor, Jorhat
You do need to take your vaccine. But before that you need to get done certain investigations cbc, crp and d dimer. U need to stop a few medicines and based on investigation you might need to start a few 1 week prior to the vaccination and probabl...

Sir I am suffering from mild pivd c3 to c7 for last 6 year. Pain radiating to right arm. Tingling in morning. N I feel mild vertigo n not complete vertigo like 3 to 4 times a day after prolonged sitting. N taking following medicine gabapentin nt 400 once rejunex cd3 vertin 16 mg once in afternoon dizitac morning n evg only issue I am getting is of very light dizziness spells from morning to 2 or 3 pm in afternoon. Pain is 100 percent relieved with the above medicine n physical exercises for neck only issue left is of vertigo I am doing 02 exercise for vertigo epley maneuver n brad draft exercise please advice how do I become completely fine? Mri report was shown to many doctors they are saying it's very mild n surgery not required checked with ent .no signs of ear infection not having d3 or calcium deficiency bp n other parameters completely normal taking so much medicine gives me sleepiness in my working hrs please advice I want to get rid of these medicines I exercise regularly n fit otherwise.

M.S. Orthopaedics, DNB Orthopaedic Surgery, MRCS, FELLOWSHIP OF JOINT REPLACEMENT & ARTHROSCOPY, Shoulder Replacement & Shoulder Arthroscopy Fellowship, Fellowship in Arthroscopy & Arthroplasty Hip & Knee
Orthopedic Doctor, Delhi
Hello lybrate-user looking at your problems and the treatment you are undergoing, it seems it is a bit of overkill. The vertigo you have mentioned is not true vertigo. In fact it is possibly a side effect of the drugs you are taking. Correct exerc...

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