Hand Therapy in Physiotherapy
Physiotherapy is a profession which has many sections to it from rehabilitation, sports physiotherapy, neurological and cardiothoracic rehabilitation. One of the less know specialities is Hand Therapy. This involves the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of fingers, hands, elbows as well as shoulders. Your hand therapist may use a variety of tools in the assessment. These can include finger goniometers and wrist goniometers to be able to measure joint ranges accurately.
Hand Physiotherapy is a speciality that is of a post-graduate level which focuses on restoring function to the muscles and joints of the upper limb to help improve activities of daily living. Hand Therapists are trained in the assessment of hands as well as using aids to help in the rehabilitation process. This may involve creating custom thermoplastic splints or casting to help immobilise and improving healing. Some common equipment in Hand Therapy includes the use of putty to help rebuild the strength in the hands/fingers and using pegs to help retrain grip.
The range of conditions that Hand Therapists treat vary depending on the body part involved. In the fingers and hand common conditions are De’quervains, Trigger finger, Metacarpal fractures and thumb ligament injuries. In the wrist and forearm some common conditions are: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Distal Radius Fractures and Wrist instability. They can also work with people who have either Tennis Elbow or Golfers elbow and Frozen Shoulder management. Depending on the injury, wound care may be performed and the management of scars is used help prevent adhesions and improve aesthetics are also important
The Australian Hand Therapy Association is the governing body for hand therapy in Australia and is involved with the professional development of therapists by running courses as well hand conferences.
If you have an issue with your fingers, hands or elbows please contact our clinic to learn more about what can be done to help and to speak to our treating Hand Therapists.