Brooks staff demonstrating hand therapy exercise

Certified Hand Therapy

Medical Reviewer: Maggie Davis
Last Updated: April 9, 2024

What is hand therapy?

Hand therapy is the art and science of evaluating and treating injuries and conditions of the upper extremity (shoulder, arm, elbow, forearm, wrist, and hand). Hand therapy uses many therapeutic interventions to help restore function.

What is a certified hand therapist?

A hand therapist is an occupational therapist (OT) or physical therapist (PT) who through advanced education and clinical experience with the integration of knowledge in anatomy, physiology and kinesiology, has become proficient in treatment of pathological upper extremity conditions resulting from trauma, disease, congenital or acquired deformity.

To obtain a CHT credential the therapist must practice for a minimum of 3 years, accumulate at least 4000 hours of treatment for hand and UE disorders. They must also pass a rigorous certification exam to demonstrate their competency in the practice.

What services does hand therapy provide?

In hand therapy we provide non-operative interventions, preventative care, and post-operative rehabilitation using a variety of techniques including but not limited to activity and exercise programs, custom orthotic fabrication, scar management as well as management of pain, swelling and wound care.

What conditions does hand therapy help treat?

Some of the common conditions hand therapists treat are:

  • Post-operative and/or conservative management of trigger fingers
  • Tendonitis
  • Arthritis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Distal radius fracture
  • Dupuytren’s disease
  • Tendon repairs and transfers
  • Digital amputations
  • Fractures of the hand

What can I expect during my hand therapy appointment?

The initial appointment is an evaluation which helps determine the treatment plan and to issue a home exercise program.

The following visits if needed consist of assessing your progress and altering the treatment as needed.

Treatments include:

How can I find a hand therapist?

You may need a prescription from a physician before you can visit a hand therapist.

At Brooks Rehabilitation, we provide Certified Hand Therapy services at our outpatient clinics. Visit our Locations page to find the location nearest you.

Medical Reviewer

Maggie Davis

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