What is Hand Therapy?
Hand therapy – a subset of occupational and physical therapy – focuses on the evaluation and treatment of patients with injuries and conditions of the upper extremities, including the shoulder, upper arm and forearm, elbow, wrist and hand.
Who Performs Hand Therapy?
Conducted by licensed occupational therapists (OT) or physical therapists (PT), hand therapy seeks to restore a high level of function to patients dealing with trauma, disease, chronic and neurologic conditions, or congenital deformities.
Though most occupational and physical therapists have experience providing physical rehabilitation for many different parts of the body, additional requirements are needed to become a certified hand therapist (CHT). According to the American Society of Hand Therapists (ASHT), CHTs require a minimum of three years of experience as an OT or PT, plus 4,000 hours of upper extremity-focused rehabilitation. Once this requirement is met, they must pass a certification exam to demonstrate their knowledge of all areas of hand therapy.
The majority of the occupational and physical therapists at Memorial Hermann are certified hand therapists through the Hand Therapy Certification Commission or are currently in the process of pursuing the credential. They work closely with affiliated physicians, orthopedic surgeons and plastic surgeons to ensure that the level of care you receive helps you achieve the best possible treatment outcome.
Common Conditions Treated with Hand Therapy
Hand therapy can provide non-operative intervention, preventive care and post-surgical rehabilitation for a wide variety of upper extremity disorders, including:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- De Quervain's tenosynovitis
- Trigger finger
- Bursitis and tendonitis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Disabilities caused by neurological conditions
- Sprains and strains
- Tendon and ligament injuries
- Fractures (fingers, thumbs, wrists, forearms, elbows)
- Nerve entrapment
- Burns, wounds
Benefits of Hand Therapy
At Memorial Hermann, our hand therapists offer a wide range of treatment options, including, but not limited to:
- Manual therapy
- Soft-tissue massage
- Orthotic fabrication
- Scar management
- Myofascial release
These services help achieve increased mobility and range of motion while reducing pain for patients injured by accidents or trauma resulting in the following:
- Injured tendons or nerves
- Fractures or amputation of the finger, hand or arm
Our hand therapists also help patients regain and maintain function lost in the upper extremities due to the disabling effects of cumulative trauma disorders, such as tennis elbow or carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic problems like arthritis, or neurological disorders.
Additional hand therapy benefits include:
- Accurate assessments and immediate care intended to reduce overall treatment time
- A streamlined treatment process that eliminates the involvement of multiple medical providers
- A focus on rapid recovery in order to decrease total medical costs and return patients to their daily lives faster
- A comprehensive level of care before, during and after treatment is complete
What to Expect During Hand Therapy
If this is your first experience with occupational or physical therapy, you may be feeling a little uneasy or unsure about the process. At Memorial Hermann, our staff is here to answer your questions and walk you through the process so your experience with us is as stress-free as possible.
As a first-time patient, you should expect a detailed discussion of your medical history and the reasons for your visit. You will be asked to describe any pain or issues you are having in as much detail as possible.
A comprehensive assessment will also be conducted, consisting of range of motion measurements, sensory and strength testing. Based on the findings, a treatment program will be created.
Our staff will then help you set your therapy goals. For example, are you hoping to return to your daily activities after an injury or restore specific functions you thought were lost due to a chronic condition? This information is important, and will allow our trained professionals to develop a therapy regimen that is built around your individual needs.
The type of treatment you receive will depend on your physician’s diagnosis and your therapist’s initial evaluation. However, the following activities are fairly common for patients undergoing hand therapy treatment:
- Exercises to increase range of motion
- Activities to improve fine motor coordination
- General strength and conditioning exercises
- Ongoing education to prevent reoccurrence and degeneration of condition
While the therapy process is different for everyone, patients can expect hand therapy sessions to last anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour.
Convenient Hand Therapy at Memorial Hermann
Occupational and physical therapists are concerned with all aspects of your quality of life – physical, psychological, emotional and social – and how a disruption in any one of these can affect your overall wellbeing. If you are struggling with an upper extremity injury or condition that is preventing you from living your life as usual, we’re here to help.
With over 40 convenient locations across Greater Houston and a centralized scheduling system, Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation makes it easy to find a skilled therapist near you.
Use our online ScheduleNow tool or fill out the Become a Patient form on this page to schedule your initial hand therapy evaluation today.
Occupational and Hand Therapy Locations
- IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute Memorial City
- 10125 Katy Freeway
Houston, TX 77024
(713) 242-2270 tel
(713) 242-3931 faxGet Directions
- IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands
- 9305 Pinecroft Dr.
The Woodlands, TX 77380
(713) 897-7930 tel
(713) 897-2632 faxGet Directions
- Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation – Beechnut
- 7500 Beechnut St
Houston, TX 77074
(713) 456-4650 tel
(713) 456-4645 Get Directions
- Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation – Cypress
- 27700 Northwest Freeway, Suite 130
Cypress, TX 77433
(346) 231-6900 tel
(346) 231-6901 faxGet Directions
- Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation – Greenway Plaza/Upper Kirby - TEMPORARILY CLOSED
- 3651 Weslayan St
Houston, TX 77027
(713) 850-8472 tel
(713) 850-8490 faxGet Directions
- Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation – Katy
- 23960 Katy Fwy
Katy, TX 77494
(281) 644-7880 tel
(281) 644-7888 faxGet Directions
- Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation – Northeast
- 18951 N Memorial Dr
Humble, TX 77338
(281) 540-0113 tel
(281) 540-1378 faxGet Directions
- Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation – Greater Heights
- 300 North Loop
Houston, TX 77008
(713) 867-2300 tel
(713) 867-2545 faxGet Directions
- Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation – Southeast Medical Plaza I
- 11914 Astoria Blvd
Houston, TX 77089
(281) 929-4475 tel
(281) 929-6276 faxGet Directions
- Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation – The Woodlands Medical Center Medical Plaza 4
- Medical Plaza 4
9180 Pinecroft Drive #200
The Woodlands, TX 77380
(713) 897-2549 tel
(713) 897-2544 faxGet Directions
- Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation – Mid County
- 3512 Hwy 365
Nederland, TX 77627
(409) 722-7116 tel
(409) 722-7450 faxGet Directions
- Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation – Pasadena
- 4804 E Sam Houston Pkwy S
Pasadena, TX 77505
(281) 487-4457 tel
(281) 991-0336 faxGet Directions
- Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation – Pearland East
- 5032 W Broadway St
Pearland, TX 77581
(281) 485-4044 tel
(281) 485-4081 faxGet Directions
- Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation – Williams Trace
- 14857 Southwest Fwy
Sugar Land, TX 77478
(281) 242-8900 tel
(281) 242-0355 faxGet Directions
- Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation – The Woodlands - Sterling Ridge
- 10333 Kuykendahl Rd
The Woodlands, TX 77382
(832) 813-7023 tel
(832) 813-7099 faxGet Directions
- Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation – Webster
- 19419-3 Gulf Freeway
Webster, TX 77598
(281) 488-2815 tel
(281) 488-2844 faxGet Directions