All things hand therapy and upper limb health

Hand Therapy: Attributes of a Good Practitioner

A Hand Therapy Practitioner uses creativity and medicine to assess, educate, diagnose and treat injuries and conditions of the upper extremity (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 continuing 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 Therapy Practitioner:

  1. requires no doctor’s referral.
  2. requests the necessary investigations - X-rays, Ultrasounds and MRI’s.
  3. writes specific medical certificates
  4. 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.
  5. works with a large network of Surgeons and GP’s both to refer to and recommend.  

A Hand Therapy Practitioner 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 limb. The benefit of seeing a Hand Therapy Practitioner is confidence in the accuracy of diagnosis, communication and skills in all treatment programs.  

A Hand Therapy Practitioner will educate and inform individuals 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 principles of the injury or illness.  Both digital and print information can be taken with the patient so they can recall what was told to them and so they can share the information with their family and friends.

A Hand Therapy Practitioner 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 Therapy Practitioner treats the following conditions:

A Hand Therapy Practitioner uses a number of therapeutic interventions 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
  • Stretches
  • Therapeutic Massage

A Hand Therapy Practitioner will customise a specific treatment and exercise program for your injury.  We have specific programs to improve range of motion, stiffness, wounds, pain, strength, proprioception, sensation, dexterity, hand writing & many others.  The functioning of the whole upper limb is considered in all programs.  It is important that the 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 limb injury, then seeking treatment from a skilled Hand Therapy

A practitioner who has trained at The Hands Physio is definitely worthwhile.