Because we perform a majority of all tasks using our hands, they are apt to get injured. If you have a hand injury or hand pain – whether due to trauma, repetitive stress on the hand, or even arthritis – who is going to help you with the pain and show you how to do things again?
A physical therapist who specializes in hands – preferably who also is an occupational therapist or works with one at the same medical facility – is trained to teach patients how to work and live normally again.
How Does Hand Therapy Work?
Receiving hand therapy may allow a person to receive healing treatment and avoid hand surgery. If the patient has chronic or long-term hand pain, therapy can help them overcome the pain and learn how to use their hands in ways that do not cause the pain in the first place.
This therapy can also help a person retrain the arm or hand after a nerve injury. This can take time, but most types of hand disability can be successfully treated by a properly trained hand therapist.
The physical therapist will first show the patient how to do the proper hand exercises, which are specifically geared toward strengthening the muscles in and around the injured hand. The PT will also create a customized home regimen that will allow the patient to continue their therapy on their own.
What Is Occupational Therapy?
For a hand therapist who provides occupational therapy, the patient will be taught how to perform meaningful activities with their hands once again. Treating occupational injuries with hand therapy will usually focus on strengthening the person’s manual capabilities, rather than focusing on the injury itself.
For example, the PT might teach the patient with carpal tunnel syndrome how to move their hands and arms in such a way as to avoid exacerbating the problem – and hopefully facilitate healing. The patient will be taught new ways in which to perform basic functions. The retraining of a patient’s mind is a huge step forward in occupational therapy.
The physical therapist may recommend a splint or a brace that will assist the patient in the performance of their duties and everyday tasks. The therapist should empower the patient in considering this device as helpful rather than as a sign of a handicap.
Rather than thinking of it as a crutch, patients are encouraged to think of it as a tool that helps you accomplish what you want to accomplish. It is important for the hand therapist to help change the way in which the patient perceives the changes in their body, and accept the changes as positive and beneficial in moving forward in life.
Hand Therapists in Austin, Texas
If you or someone you know has suffered a traumatic accident to a hand or fingers, or if you are suffering from arthritis pain or a pain that has developed over time from your work, contact our caring team at Endeavor Physical Therapy & Wellness today.
Call our main number at (512) 284-7192 to schedule an appointment, or request a consultation online now. Get the best possible treatment for your injured hands, fingers, and arms from physical therapists who have years of experience and an empowering attitude!