What is a Hand Therapist?
A hand therapist is an occupational or physical therapist who, through advanced study, specializes in rehabilitating patients with conditions affecting the hands and upper extremity. Hand therapists work with individuals who may have been affected by an accident or trauma leaving them with wounds, scars, burns, injured tendons or nerves, fractures, or amputation of the finger, hand, or arm.
A hand therapist also treats patients affected by cumulative trauma disorders – such as tennis elbow or carpal tunnel syndrome as well as individuals who suffer from such chronic problems as arthritis or a neurological condition.
A hand therapist works with the patient and physician in a coordinated team approach to help the patient achieve the best functional outcome possible. Care often starts within days of an individual's injury or surgery and continues right through to the person's return to work and/or a productive lifestyle.