Hand Therapy

April is Hand Therapy Month.  JOI Rehab certainly appreciates all of our awesome hand therapy clinicians. 

The Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute provides comprehensive preventative and post-surgical Hand Therapy and Occupational Therapy services. These orthopedic services are typically designed to prevent dysfunction.  With the goal to maximize functional recovery for patients who have sustained an injury. JOI Rehab employs the most Certified Hand Therapists in the North Florida Area to provide the highest quality of rehabilitation services. Our therapists and physicians work together to create a treatment protocol for each patient. Dr. Garry Kitay states "hand therapy is critical to optimizing recovery for many conditions of the hand and upper extremity. Restoration of function, and range of motion in particular, is paramount in achieving the excellent outcomes we expect for our patients."  Dr. Kitay is board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.

JOI hand therapy CHTImage of Hand Therapy

What is Hand Therapy?

The quick answer is Hand Therapy is a specialization of evaluating and treating the upper extremity (UE) which includes the shoulder, elbow, forearm, wrist, and hand. It treats various conditions and diagnosis of the entire UE due to trauma, arthritis, infection, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), trigger finder, fractures, tendon injuries, rotator cuff injuries and many other conditions that 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, would and scar care which allows them to regain independence in activities of daily living.

How Does Hand Therapy Work?

Your hand therapist has a number of therapeutic tools and exercise activities at their disposal to help you achieve highest functional use of your hand and upper extremity. Key components of your hand therapy rehabilitation program will include range of motion, strengthening exercises, customized orthotic splinting, education, adaptive equipment and modalities. 

Splints of the Hand, Wrist, Finger and Elbow

A splint is commonly prescribed to protect and immobilize the joints of the upper extremities. They are made out of a heat sensitive plastic which is custom molded to each patient with the use of hot water. The splint can typically be taken off for certain activities of daily life. Two common types of splints are safe position splints, for finger fractures, and long arm splints, for fractures of the forearm or elbow. While typically used for immobilization, static progressive or dynamic splinting can help increase motion through the use of springs or elastic bands.  

The Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute offers hand therapy at 9 locations in North East Florida. JOI is also the largest employer in the area of Certified Hand Therapists or CHT's.

Related Articles: The Arthritic Hand and The Top 4 Hand Exercises for Arthritis.

To schedule an appointment for physical therapy at one of the 12 JOI Rehab Centers, please call 904-858-7045.

By: Julia Guthart, CHT, Occupational Therapist



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