The Role of a Hand Therapist

The role of a hand therapist is often unknown by many. Hand therapists play pivotal role in the rehabilitation and recovery of patients that are dealing with a variety of upper extremity injuries, diseases, and conditions. The upper extremity region begins at the shoulder and ends at the finger tips The muscles, bones, and joints that make up the upper extremity region are incredibly complex and often require a therapist that has extensive knowledge and very specific training in treating and managing such conditions. So, what exactly is a hand therapist? A hand therapist is an occupational or physical therapist with knowledge of anatomy, physiology and kinesiology in treatment of pathological upper extremity conditions resulting from trauma, disease, congenital or acquired deformity. Hand therapists bridge the gap from medical management of upper extremity conditions to return patients to prior level of function. Hand therapists provide non-operative interventions, preventative care, and post-surgical rehabilitation for a wide variety of upper extremity disorders, from simple fingertip injuries to complex replanted extremities. Luisa Aggio, OTR/L Progress Physical Therapy