Common Questions About Hand Therapy NJ
If you’ve suffered an injury or chronic condition that affects your hands, chances are likely that you’ve seen a hand therapist. Hand therapy is a type of physical therapy performed by a specialized therapist for individuals who suffer from conditions that affect upper extremity and hand. At Twin Boro, we have multiple Hand Therapy NJ locations to help patients to relieve pain and get back to their normal daily activities with optimal function.
What is Certified Hand Therapy?
Hand therapy is the art and science of evaluating and treating injuries and conditions of the upper extremity (shoulder, arm, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand).
According to the American Society of Hand Therapists, a hand therapist is an occupational or physical therapist who, through advanced continuing education, clinical experience and integration of knowledge in anatomy, physiology and kinesiology, has become proficient in treatment of pathological upper extremity conditions resulting from trauma, disease, congenital or acquired deformity. To become a Certified Hand Therapist, a clinician must have at least 5 years and a minimum of 4,000 hours of direct clinical experience. They must also pass a rigorous examination to demonstrate proficiency in the skills associated with hand therapy.
Lacey Silvano, CHT, MOT is one of the certified hand therapists at Twin Boro who has five years of clinical expertise in rehabilitation of the arm, wrist, and hand. The network of CHTs allows each therapist to lean on and learn from each other. “When there’s a patient who’s not responding as well as hoped, we adjust their plan of care and figure out what’s not working and why. And, luckily we have quite a few hand therapists at Twin Boro so we can share case studies and ask for advice,” Lacey said. “Everyone’s willing to help each other with the patient’s best interest in mind.”
In fact, over the past year as we all navigated the pandemic, Lacey has noticed a significant increase in adaptability. “Adapting to COVID times with telehealth services allows us to provide care for those who might not feel comfortable coming in right now.”
Why See a Hand Therapist: Common Conditions
A certified hand therapist specializes in treating hand and upper extremity conditions. They provide non-operative treatment options for a wide variety of conditions, from simple fingertip injuries to complex replanted extremities. Patients suffering with chronic conditions, such as arthritis, or neurologic conditions, can also benefit from hand therapy.
For example, Lacey treats a variety of patients with both conservative and post-operative conditions affecting the hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder. Some of the most common injuries she sees include Distal Radius Fractures, trigger finger, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, hand and wrist fractures, finger dislocations, surgery recovery as well as arthritis and related disorders.
When asked about her favorite part of her job, Lacey replied, “The most rewarding part of my job is when you work with a patient who comes in with significant impairment. The moment that they hit their first milestone or reach their first goal makes all the difference in the world. Just seeing how happy it makes them; it’s really special to see that what we’re doing is having a positive impact on their lives.”
How Can a Hand Therapist Help?
At Twin Boro in New Jersey, we offer a wide range of hand therapy services to help our patients find relief and achieve results, including:
- Evaluations – Every patient starts with a comprehensive examination to measure the objective and subjective measurements. This includes an examination of the injury utilizing goniometers to measure range of motion, pinch gauge to measure pinch strength, monofilaments-sensation as well as dynameters to gauge for consistent and reliable strength testing.
- Communication – Hand therapists and surgeons communicate and often work closely together to determine the best outcome for their patients, so there’s no lapse in care.
- Treatment – Treatments are tailored to each patient and may include hands-on techniques such as cupping, Graston therapy, joint mobilization, massage, trigger-point massage, and myofascial release.
- Tools – Tools used in therapy may include weighted dowels, hand weights, putty, and equipment at home such as a water bottle or washcloth to help the patient translate to functional activities.
- Customized Orthotics –The Twin Boro therapists are experienced with customizing fabrication for both static and dynamic splints that are personally molded and fit the patients. Whether to rest a joint that may be inflamed from arthritis or if you just had surgery and you need to rest it, splitting can augment performance.
- Patient Education – At home exercise programs are updated regularly as the patient improves. This may include different joint protection techniques or ergonomics such as computer setup.
New Jersey Hand Therapy
At Twin Boro, our CHTs can help you regain the function in your wrist, hand or elbow, through a combination of individualized techniques. Our therapists are knowledgeable and experienced in providing the most effective hand therapy in New Jersey. It is important to get the affected area moving quickly and safely after an injury.
At Twin Boro, we have multiple certified hand therapy locations throughout New Jersey including:
- Jersey City
- Red Bank
- Toms River
- Edison (coming in April 2021)
To locate the closest physical therapy clinic near you, visit the Twin Boro Find a Location directory to search by the ZIP code.
Request an appointment at Twin Boro Physical Therapy to find out how hand therapy can help you find relief and manage your pain.