Should I See a Certified Hand Therapist?

By: Jenifer Walker, PT, DPT, CHT

Since the title of our next blog is in the form of the question. The answer is, if you are currently experiencing any pain, swelling, or functional limitations with one or both of your hands, then the answer is an emphatic YES!

Most people these days know that when their back is bothering them, or they have elected to have surgery on one of the joints in their body, that they can follow up with their favorite PT at Carousel.  But did you know that some physical therapists choose to specialize in the treatment of the hand and upper extremity?  I have been working towards becoming a CHT (Certified Hand Therapist) for the last few years of my practice, and in December I completed my studies and passed a rigorous certification exam!

CHTs are highly skilled in evaluating edema, pain, range of motion, strength & endurance, sensibility, activities of daily living, work activities, avocational activities, and sports activities.  We commonly manage conditions such as:

              • Amputations
              • Arthritis
              • Burns
              • Disease processes
              • Fractures & dislocation,
              • Sprains & strains
              • Infections
              • Joint contractures
              • Nerve compressions
              • Nerve injuries
              • Rotator cuff injuries
              • Impingement syndrome
              • Tendinitis
              • And tendon injuries

One of the major skillsets developed by CHTs is the fabrication of customized orthotic devices for the upper extremity.

These are commonly required for carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, basilar joint arthritis of the thumb, finger dislocations, finger fractures, tendon injuries, lateral epicondylitis, and joint sprain/strains. Orthotic devices are often required following surgery for the fingers/hand/wrist as well.

So, if you are unsure whether you should see a CHT, you can have a FREE consultation with me, and with your doctor as well! See you soon!