Hand Therapy

By Julia Guthart, OTR/L CHT

JOI Hand Therapy

By: Julia Guthart, OTR/L CHT

JOI Rehab provides comprehensive preventative and post-surgical Hand Therapy/Occupational Therapy services. These services are typically designed to prevent dysfunction and maximize functional recovery for patients who have sustained an injury. In addition, our program is designed to have a close relationship between the physician (hand specialist) and the clinician who is treating the patient in therapy.

Hand therapy is the specialization of evaluating and treating the upper extremity (UE) which consists of shoulder, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand. It treats various conditions and diagnosis of the entire Upper Extremity including:

  • trauma
  • arthritis
  • infection
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
  • trigger finger
  • fractures
  • tendon injuries
  • rotator cuff shoulder injuries (RTC)
  • other conditions which affect the quality of life

Hand therapy helps patients regain functional use of their UE/hand by improving:

  • strength
  • range of motion
  • managing pain
  • swelling
  • wound and scar care

This allows them to regain independence in activities of daily living (ADL’s).

Hand Therapists & Hand Therapy Team

Your hand therapist will have a number of therapeutic tools/exercise activities at their disposal to help you achieve highest functional use of your hand/UE. Key components of your hand therapy rehabilitation program are:

  • range of motion (ROM)
  • strengthening exercises
  • customized orthotic splinting
  • education
  • adaptive equipment
  • modalities

The hand therapy team is made up of Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists who through advanced education and clinical experience have become specialized in treating UE conditions. Many of JOI hand therapists are Certified Hand Therapist (CHT’s) which is the highest level of competence in hand therapy practice. In addition, JOI Hand Therapists work closely with doctors and surgeons to ensure highest functional outcomes and attend MD Clinic Rounds with our JOI hand surgeons.

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” – Vince Lombardi

JOI Hand Therapy Rehab

JOI hand therapy uses splints.

Image of JOI Hand Splint.





JOI Rehab employs 9 Certified Hand Therapists in North Florida Area. Our goal is to provide the highest quality of rehabilitation services for the patients that we serve.

Hand injuries, such as tendon lacerations or other upper extremity injuries, such as broken bones, can occur in a variety of ways. A splint can protect and immobilize these joints, and depending on the injury, there can be a variety of splints. Splints are made out of a heat sensitive plastic which is custom molded with use of hot water. Typically a sock is placed on an individual’s hand while the splint is being molded for comfort. This splint can typically come off for certain activities of daily living (ADLs) such as showering or dressing. Also, cleaning it with soap and water can be a option. Just be extra careful, as dogs and other small animals like them too!

Reasons for Splinting

The most common reason a splint is prescribed is for protection and immobilization. Furthermore, a safe position splint is a splint for finger fractures. This requires the patient’s metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints to be bent approximately 70 degrees. This is needed for proper healing. The site of the fracture will determine the length of the splint. If the fracture is closer to the tip of the finger, the splint may only need to be hand-based. If the fracture is lower into the hand the splint may need to be forearm based. Another common splint is a Long Arm Splint. This requires the patient’s elbow to be flexed at 90 degrees and the forearm in a neutral position. This is a common splint for most injuries, such as elbow fractures and surgeries that need to relocate nerves in the elbow.

The use of splints are typically for immobilization and protection. Also, they can help to increase range of motion (ROM) in joints. With some injuries an individual can develop stiffness in their joints. Static progressive or dynamic splinting can help increase the motion. These types of splints are made through the use of springs or elastic bands that increase movement. These splints are initiated and controlled by the patient. Adjustments can occur for comfort and to set the appropriate stretch. All splints are prescribed by a physician and it is up to the doctor and your therapist to determine splinting frequency and duration.

Also, if you are interested in scheduling an appointment at JOI Rehab for physical therapy, call (904) 858-7045. Come see us!


All JOI Physicians and Therapists now offer Telemedicine from the convenience of your home. Furthermore, if you feel that it is best to stay in your own home during this time, we can still provide orthopaedic Telehealth services for you. Through the download of the free Zoom app on the your phone, tablet or laptop. Also, our physicians and Telehealth for Physical Therapy can evaluate you and provide the care you need.

JOI Fracture and Injury Care

JOI Physicians are currently offering ASAP Fracture care. Make an appointment by calling (904)JOI-2000. Furthermore, this is a new option for patients who would like to avoid the emergency room. Also, to learn more about this service, read this article about fracture and injury care.

“Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it’s at the end of your arm, as you get older, remember you have another hand: The first is to help yourself, the second is to help others”  – Audrey Hepburn

“In fact, I believe the hands are among the most important part of the human being, third only to the brain that guides us and the heart that drives us” – Terri Wolfe, 1997 presidential address at ASHT.

AOTA explains ”Occupational therapy in simple terms as helping people across the lifespan participate in thing they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. Common OT intervention is helping recovery from injury to regain skill.” 

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