Hand physical therapy is a rehabilitation technique done by physical therapists or occupational therapists on patients with disorders that impact both their upper and lower extremities. The hand has the most amount of muscle attachment than any other body part. As a result it is also the most affected when suffering from a disability. Hand physical therapy enables patients to return to a normal, functioning life, and recover much faster than those who do not have the therapy. It is important for the patient to find the best Hand Physical Therapy facility and practitioner to obtain the best results.
The diagnosis of hand physical therapy usually begins with a thorough history of symptoms and functioning before any treatment is initiated. In some cases, upper extremity weakness may be brought about by muscle sprains, strains, or repetitive motion injuries. These conditions need to be carefully examined and ruled out before hand therapy can begin. The occupational therapists will take the patient’s medical history and perform diagnostic tests to determine if the disorder is actually causing the symptoms or if it is being caused by another condition.
Once the cause has been determined, the occupational or hand therapists then work with the patient to develop a treatment plan to move them through the process of hand physical therapy. The plan consists of a combination of exercise classes, targeted stretches and strengthening exercises. Once the plan is decided upon, the therapy sessions begin.
Hand physical therapy is usually started with one to three sessions depending on the severity of the condition. The number of sessions needed will vary and be determined by a variety of factors such as severity, duration, frequency, age and overall health of the patient. Each session usually takes approximately twenty-five minutes to one hour and sometimes as long as one week. In order to prevent the further injury or deterioration of muscles, the therapists also use specific therapeutic techniques, which are usually conducted using only the hands, for hand physical therapy.
In addition to the use of the hands for hand physical therapy, the therapists may also perform other therapies such as applying heat and cold, manual lymph drainage (or massaging), electrical stimulation, electrotherapy and ultrasound. The goal of all these therapies is to decrease pain, increase flexibility and function, improve blood circulation, encourage healing and slow down the formation of scar tissue. As well as using these methods, the therapist may also use massage therapy, reflexology and acupressure to help treat the problem areas. Massage therapy can be used either to do the hands directly or to do massaging on the outside of the hand and fingers. Electrical stimulation and ultrasound are used to target specific problematic areas.
Hand and wrist therapy can be very effective for a wide range of problems with your hands, wrists, arms, hands and shoulders, even your legs and feet. Hand physical therapy can be performed in a variety of different ways. One of the most common ways people perform this therapy is through doing stretches, squeezing exercises and strengthening exercises in the affected areas. People who perform daily activities on their hands may benefit more from this type of therapy than people who rarely perform any sort of hand therapy at all.