If you have had an injury or disease that has affected the functioning of your hand, you will likely need hand therapy. Your doctor may recommend that you have this specialized type of physical therapy, or you may seek it out on your own.
Whether your health issue is due to arthritis, injury, or an underlying condition, a hand therapist knows how to help your hands get back to working order again. This type of rehabilitation might also eliminate the need for more invasive treatment, such as surgery.
Hand Conditions Treated with Physical Therapy
A few of the main reasons why people often seek hand therapy are the following:
If you have broken one or more bones in your hand or fingers, hand therapy plays a key part in the healing process. Your hand will have been immobilized by a cast, brace, or sling, and this lack of using the muscles will cause atrophy in the hand. Specific movements, stretches, and hand exercises as guided by the therapist will coax the tiny muscles back to normal function.
Physical therapy can also assist in healing a wrist fracture, restoring the wrist’s range of motion and strength. One of the benefits of physical therapy is that it also helps to prevent future fractures, as the muscles are strengthened and you learn specific strategic movements.
Tendonitis in the Hand and Fingers
The strong fibers connecting muscle to bone are tendons, and when a tendon becomes inflamed, this is tendonitis. This can happen to any of the small tendons connecting the hand muscles to the phalanges in the fingers or to the metacarpal bones in the palm.
Tendonitis is often addressed by resting the hand and by taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication. Hand therapy can help you prevent the condition from worsening and becoming chronic tendonitis, which may require surgery.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful and debilitating condition affecting both the hand and wrist. The median nerve passes through the carpal tunnel in the wrist, and repeated pressure on this nerve can cause pain, numbness, and disability in the hand and fingers – all except the pinkie, which is not affected by the median nerve.
Hand therapy can be very effective in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, as therapy can help the compressed nerve to be alleviated from the pressure. Your therapist will devise a plan to help relieve the pain and to restore the hand and wrist back to their original mobility and usefulness. Your hand therapist will teach you specific exercises to continue to perform regularly in order to keep pressure off of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel.
Physical Therapist in Austin, TX
The medical team here at Endeavor Physical Therapy & Wellness specializes in physical therapy of all kinds, including hand therapy. Your hand therapist will work with your hand and will demonstrate exercises and stretches in which the hand is manipulated from the outside, and also strengthening exercises you can perform by utilizing your hand’s own muscles. We can help with everything from arthritis to Dupuytren’s contracture to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Endeavor has convenient locations in Austin, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Manor, and Pflugerville. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, call us today at (512) 284-7192 or fill out our online appointment request form now. We look forward to helping you get back to your active lifestyle once again.