What is Hand Therapy?

What is Hand Therapy?

Hand therapy can provide efficient treatment and help people regain their productivity, independence and quality of life if they suffer from adverse conditions impacting the hands and upper extremity. The main goal is to restore function to your hand, wrist, and arms using the latest technology and treatments. A variety of therapeutic mechanisms employed in this therapy helps patients to reclaim their optimal level of function. It usually starts with an evaluation, and a baseline function will be established. Also, a physical therapist will review your prescription and the treatment you have in continuity. A unique plan will be prepared to meet your goals within a timeline. With the help of proper diagnosis and treatment, you will achieve the desired functionality. 

Hand therapy will include different treatments conducted under the guidance of your physical therapist. You will often be asked for home activities as well, which you will have to practice at home. This will help you to keep up with therapy. If you are skipping your session, then you are moving backwards in your healing period. Afterwards, it becomes difficult for the person to cope with the therapy plan, and the result will be a prolonged recovery. 

Problems in which hand therapy specialist can help you

You can be affected by accident, trauma, arthritis or undergo any surgery, and you might seek help from a hand therapist. There are many areas where a hand therapist helps you treat your hands and get back your motion. A therapist can:

  • Reduce swelling, softens scars
  • Reduce adhesions between skin and tendons
  • Reduce your pain
  • Monitor and treat your wounds
  • Softens scars
  • Teaching patients with amputations of fingers, hands and arms learn to be functional
  • Can treat you fractures,
  • Tendons repairing
  • Arthritis
  • Tennis elbow
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Stroke weakness


If you suffer from wounds, burns, scars, fractures or any congenital deformities from an accident, injury or trauma can get desired benefits and recovery through hand therapy. With precise management of posture exercises and prosthetic training, your finger, hand and arm amputees will be benefitted. Signs associated with chronic ailments such as arthritis can be relieved through hand therapy. Apart from these neurological conditions or recovery from stroke can also be assisted by this therapy.

Advantages one can get are as below:

  • Non- surgical intervention and treatment
  • Wide range of motion exercise programs and home strengthening
  • Help in acute and chronic pain
  • Reduction in nerve sensitivity
  • Custom orthotic
  • Special tools accomplish routine activity
  • Please help them to return to their everyday life or regular activities
  • Helping in sensory-reduction condition
  • Recovery after surgery
  • Reduction of pain feeling from a nerve problem

How does a Physical Therapist help improve function?

A therapist is an expert, trained and experienced in treating pain disorders. They will set a treatment plan for you to get your everyday life back. Let us see how a therapist can improve our function:

  1. Scar treatment – This treatment is done using methods like the use of silicone putty, taping or friction massage.
  2. Oedema control – External compression garments and wraps are used, elevation, retrograde massage, and active motion.
  3. Pain Control – Somethings that may help pain include fluid therapy, iontophoresis, therapeutic ultrasound, desensitization, mirror therapy, and guided imagery.
  4. Exercise – Some active hand and finger exercise is included where the patient uses their muscle strength. Passive movement is used in which the patient pushes a stiff joint to move without using their tendons. 
  5. Strengthening – Use of putty of different firmness, weights, grippers, Theraband and other aides.

Who is a Hand therapist?

Hand therapists are physical or occupational therapists who acquire expertise in anatomy, kinesiology and physiology through extensive training and clinical practice. Based on this knowledge, they smoothly transition the patient from the medical intervention of pathological upper extremity condition to successful recovery. They are also known as occupational therapists or physical therapists; they help patients recover faster after surgery by using wound healing modalities, infection obstruction, scar care and inflammation relief.

They are into this profession by compiling all the tests and extensive certification to prove their proficiency. They are known as an expert in clinical treatment for hands and arm afflictions.


A therapist can guide us about preventing problems with hand or arm symptoms, from suggesting different techniques of doing a particular activity to helping us ensure a healthy life. Generally, office workers seek help from an occupational or hand therapist as they tend to work on computers. Ergonomics involves analyzing and improving the design of the workplace to be more efficient. Work hardening is a particular type of therapy designed to stimulate the work environment. If you are suffering any discomfort in your fingers, wrist or arm, consult a hand therapist at the earliest.

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