Bone and Joint Blog

Certified Hand Therapy: What is it and Who Needs it?

Posted May 14, 2019 11:50:33 AM

Physical and occupational therapists play a vital role in patient recovery following injury, surgery, and certain health events.  By using a wide variety of methods such as exercise, massage, and electrical stimulation, they help patients restore or maintain specific aspects of physical function, based on their needs.  Orthopedic physical therapy is a subtype of physical therapy which focuses specifically on the musculoskeletal system which incudes bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. 

What is Certified Hand Therapy?

Within orthopedic physical therapy, there can be even greater levels of specialization.  One such type of specialization is certified hand therapy (CHT).  As one might assume this type of therapy focuses specifically on treating conditions that affect function of the hand.  However, it is also used to address problems that impact the elbow, arm or shoulder.  These problems may arise from trauma, congenital deformity, or disease.

What Type of Training does a Certified Hand Therapist Need?

Certified hand therapists have the same initial training as physical or occupational therapists.  However, through continuing education and thousands of hours of experience, they have become experts with a multitude of knowledge and skill pertaining specifically to the upper extremity.  In order to become certified, these therapists have to meet rigorous requirements, including at least 5 years and 4,000 hours of practice and successfully passing a demanding certification exam.

What Kind of Treatment Does a Certified Hand Therapist Provide?

There are many situations in which patients can benefit greatly from the use of certified hand therapy.  These can range from rehabilitation of minor injuries to severe trauma to management of chronic conditions.  CHT may be used to help patients recover from surgery, while in other cases, it may be able to help patients avoid surgery altogether.  It can help patients reduce pain, speed healing time, and allow them to maintain greater levels of independence.  Among the many situations that may warrant CHT are broken bones, ligament or tendon injuries, and arthritis.

Certified Hand Therapy in Baton Rouge

If you are suffering from a medical condition or injury that has threatened your ability to use the hand, arm, elbow, or shoulder, CHT is an option you should consider.  Speak with your orthopedic physician regarding CHT and if he or she believes it may be useful for you.  In Baton Rouge, the Bone and Joint Clinic of Baton Rouge proudly offers a range of orthopedic physical therapy services, including certified hand therapy.  To learn more, or to request an appointment, give us a call at (225) 766-0050, or click below to request an appointment online.