Celebrating Hand Therapy Awareness Week
AHHHH WE'RE A BIT LATE…
However, if we can shed some light on what a Hand Therapist does during Hand Therapy Awareness week then that is beneficial.
A Hand Therapist uses creativity and medicine to assess, educate, diagnose and treat injuries and conditions of the upper body (neck, shoulder, arm, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand).
Hand Therapy in Australia is regulated through the Australian Hand Therapy Association (AHTA). Through extensive clinical experience, advanced education, with the integration of the knowledge of anatomy, injury, illness, and deformity, a hand therapist gains the credential of an Accredited Hand Therapist (AHT). This is reviewed every five years to keep the standards and proficiency of treatment high to ensure the best outcomes for patients. Evidence based practice with current peer review journal articles.
A Hand Therapist:
- Requires no doctor’s referral
- Requests the necessary investigations - X-rays, Ultrasounds and MRI’s
- Writes specific medical certificates
- Writes certificate of capacities for return-to-work patients. We have the specific knowledge to know weight limits and repetition criteria for people returning to work
- Works with a large network of Surgeons and GP’s both to refer to and recommend
A Hand Therapist at The Hands Physio is autonomous in their ability to diagnose injuries by using assessment skills, specific tests, and a specialised knowledge of normal movement patterns, physiology, and anatomy of the upper body. The benefit of seeing a Hand Therapist is confidence in the accuracy of diagnosis, communication, and skills in all treatment programs.
A Hand Therapist will educate and inform patients of all aspects of their physical injury or illness. Specific information is given like “when to return to sport?” or “when can I drive again?” along with the specific anatomy and tissue healing processes of the injury or illness. Both digital and print information can be taken with the patient so they can refer back to what was told to them and so they can share the information with their family and friends.
A Hand Therapist will communicate to really understand the patient’s perspective and experience to develop trust to ensure goals and treatments follow the patient’s expectations.
A Hand Therapist treats the following conditions:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Wrist Instability
- Triangulo-fibro Cartilage Complex
- Central Slip Tendon Injury
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
- DeQuervain's Release
- DeQuervain's Syndrome
- Carpal Tunnel Surgery
- Dupuytren's Disease
- Hypertrophic & Keloid Scars
- Mallet Finger
- Nerve Injuries
- Tendon Repairs
- Trigger Finger
- Occupational Overuse Injury
A Hand Therapist uses several therapeutic programs to help return a patient to their highest level of function. They can be non-operative, preventative or post-surgical. Specifically, Hand Therapy uses skills addressing:
- Pain Management
- Wound Management
- Mobilisation and Traction of Joints
- Customisation of Splints/Orthosis
- Exercise Prescriptions
- Therapeutic Massage
A Hand Therapist will customise a specific treatment program for your injury. We have specific programs to improve range of motion, stiffness, wounds, pain, strength, proprioception, sensation, dexterity, handwriting, and many others. The functioning of the whole upper body is considered in all programs. It is important that the treatment exercises are pain free, achievable, and easy to follow. Digital and print programs are given to each patient.
If you have a hand or upper body injury, then seeking treatment from a skilled Hand Therapist who has trained at The Hands Physio could benefit you greatly.
Contact The Hands Physio today by calling (02) 9743 4672 if you would like more information or require advice on treatment options.