It is a specialized area of Occupational Therapy that focuses on rehabilitating and restoring function to the hand, wrist, and forearm. Hand injuries and conditions can be debilitating, affecting the ability to perform daily tasks, work, and enjoy leisure activities.
In this article, we will explore what occupational hand therapy is, how it can benefit patients, tools and techniques used and what to expect during treatment.
What is Occupational Hand Therapy?
It is a type of therapy that focuses on treating hand, wrist, and forearm injuries and conditions provided by certified occupational therapists who are specially trained in the anatomy and function of the hand. It is often used in conjunction with other medical treatments such as surgery, medication, and physical therapy.
Common Conditions Treated with Occupational Hand Therapy
A variety of conditions can be treated , including:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Hand and wrist fractures
- Nerve injuries
- Repetitive stress injuries
Tools and Techniques Used
Occupational hand therapists use a variety of tools and techniques to help patients regain function and strength in their hands, wrists, and forearms. Some common tools and techniques used are:
- Splints and braces
- Therapeutic exercises
- Ultrasound therapy
- Electrical stimulation
- Soft tissue mobilization
- Ergonomic training
- Scar management
It can offer numerous benefits to patients, including:
- Improved range of motion and strength
- Pain relief
- Increased dexterity and fine motor skills
- Faster recovery from injuries or surgeries
- Improved ability to perform daily tasks, work, and leisure activities
- Better quality of life
What to Expect During Therapy
During therapy, patients can expect to receive a comprehensive evaluation and customized treatment plan tailored to their specific needs. Treatment may include a combination of exercises, modalities, and education. The length and frequency of therapy sessions will vary based on the severity of the condition and the goals of therapy.
Occupational hand therapy is a valuable and effective treatment option for individuals with hand, wrist, and forearm injuries and conditions. By working with a certified occupational therapist and following a customized treatment plan, patients can regain function and improve their quality of life.