A hand therapist is a physical therapist or occupational therapist who has spent years studying and learning how to treat patients with ailments affecting the hands, wrist, elbow, shoulders and other parts of the upper limbs. A qualified hand therapist may also meet the criteria to become a Certified Hand Therapist (CHT).
A CHT is an occupational or physical therapist who has at least three years of clinical experience and 4,000 hours directly practicing hand therapy. To become certified, the hand therapist must also pass a theory test and have advanced clinical skills in treating the upper quarter of the body. Certification must be renewed after five years.
There are a variety of reasons to see a certified hand therapist when you need to recover from an injury in your upper limbs. Some of these reasons include:
One of the reasons you need to see a CHT is to get a detailed and accurate assessment of your condition. CHTs are highly skilled in providing solutions for injuries in the hand and upper part of the body, so they can evaluate your condition correctly before recommending a treatment plan.
Your CHT will recommend treatment plans based on movement and exercise. They don’t offer surgical treatment. You won’t need to take anesthesia, receive incisions, endure slow recovery time or be at risk for any surgical complications. So, if you’re looking for minimally invasive treatment plans, then you’ll enjoy working with a CHT.
If you do opt for surgery, your CHT can help you prepare and recover faster after the operation. Before surgery, you’ll receive therapy to increase range of motion and make the surgery more successful. After the operation, your CHT can offer care that helps your arm, hands and fingers move freely and prevent the formation of scar tissue. Improving the movement of your fingers and hands will help you recover faster. You can also benefit from personalized treatment plans that meet your specific needs.
CHTs can evaluate your condition and start therapy much faster than some other orthopedic care providers. This is very important because the therapy provided by CHTs enables you to avoid joint stiffness, improve and maintain mobility and prevent any scar tissue.
When you work with a CHT, you’ll get a treatment plan designed for your abilities and specific injury. You and your CHT will work to achieve common goals, and your CHT will help modify the treatment plan until you attain your goal.
If you have an injury in your hand, wrist, arm, elbow, shoulder or any other part of your upper limbs, then please call OrthoBethesda now. You can speak with one of our certified hand therapists and book an appointment to get examined and start receiving treatment immediately.