Your hands are essential to who You are.
You use your hands all day, every day for work, leisure and recreation, to care for yourself and others. You use your hands to express yourself. What you do with your hands is what makes you different from every other person.
Your hands are an extremely complex part of your body, more so than any other joint, and that allows for a wider range of function. Losing the use of your hands can be frustrating and overwhelming.
That is why it is important that you receive the best possible care for your hands following an injury, surgery or any other condition that can affect those activities that are important and meaningful to you.
Our Resident Expert
Deanna Clark, OTR, CHT, CLT
Occupational Therapist, Certified Hand Therapist, Certified Lymphedema Therapist
Deanna has been part of the Mountain Land team since 2005, and brings with her over 20 years of experience as an Occupational Therapist specializing in the upper extremities. She graduated from the University of Puget Sound in 1991 with her degree in Occupational Therapy and became a Certified Hand Therapist 1997. In 2011 she also became certified in treating Lymphedema.
Deanna has received extensive training in all aspects of the upper extremities including specific treatment for the thumb, wrist, elbow, and shoulder. She also specializes in custom splinting and myofascial release. She is experienced in evaluating and treating patients with cumulative trauma disorders, post-surgical conditions, traumatic hand injuries, and pediatric motor and writing difficulties.
Our experienced hand therapists can provide preventative, non-operative and conservative treatment for management of acute or chronic conditions by designing and implementation of custom home exercise programs to increase motion, coordination and strength.
Modalities may also be used to decrease pain and swelling or increase ability of soft tissue to stretch. Custom splinting may also be helpful for resting and protecting a joint or correcting a condition.
POST OPERATIVE TREATMENT:
Therapy may address management of open or sutured wounds, control of scarring, reduction in swelling, custom splint, protected range of motion, and instruction in home programs.
Our specially trained hand therapists can teach you about the safe and proper use of equipment (ergonomics) such as computer keyboards. They also can train you about safe movement and things you should avoid to protect your hands from injury. They can help you regain the function you need to return to work after an injury or surgery.
What Will Hand Therapy Involve?
Hand specialists use the latest techniques in hand rehabilitation. Various types of exercise equipment may be used for a range of motion and strengthening. Hand therapists are also skilled in the fabrication of customized splints (orthotics) using low temperature moldable materials.
TREATMENT TECHNIQUES MAY INCLUDE:
- Exercises to restore range of motion & strength
- Custom splints to support joints, allowing tendons & muscles to heal
- Techniques to increase tissue extensibility, reduce pain, & decrease swelling
- Hot/Cold packs
- Electrical stimulation
- Methods for joint & soft tissue mobilization
- Training to restore, improve, & maintain hand function
- Education about ergonomics & protective measures
- Sensory education
- Injury prevention
- Scar remodeling
- Work station evaluations & modifications
- Wound care & management
- Paraffin wax
What is Hand Therapy?
Hand therapy addresses conditions of the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder.
The goal of hand therapy is to regain as much function, strength, motion and coordination as possible following an injury, surgery or disease.
Hand therapy is a type of rehabilitation that is performed by a provider who has a high degree of specialization that requires extensive continuing education and advanced certification. This high degree of knowledge of the intricate anatomy and rehabilitation of the hand enables the therapist to maximize your recovery and return to a functional lifestyle. They work closely with physicians and clients to provide excellent continuum of care.
Common conditions treated with Hand Therapy:
- Fractures in the hand & arm
- Arthritis of the hand, wrist & elbow
- Sprains/strains of the wrist & hand
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Cubital tunnel syndrome
- Ganglion cysts
- Tendonitis of the wrist & elbow
- Trigger finger
- Tendon Injuries (lacerations or ruptures)
- Nerve injuries
- Dupuytren’s Disease
- Neurological conditions
- Shoulder Injuries