Hand therapy and certified hand therapy is the skilled evaluation and treatment of injuries and conditions of the hand, wrist, elbow, shoulder and the entire arm.


Hand therapy is performed by either an occupational therapist or a physical therapist with advanced education and training in the art of treating injuries and conditions of the upper extremity.


Laura Lee Smith, OTR/L, CHT


Some hand therapists have an additional certification and are known as Certified Hand Therapists (CHT).  To become a Certified Hand Therapist, a clinician must have 5 years and at least 4,000 hours of treating upper extremity injuries and conditions, and must pass a rigorous examination to demonstrate proficiency in the skills associated with hand therapy.


Pat Chichester, OTR/L


Bacharach’s highly-skilled hand therapists and Certified Hand Therapists have the tools and experience to help you regain function and mobility.


They will craft an individualized plan of care based on your injury and your goals to gently but firmly guide you back to using your healthy shoulder, arm, elbow, wrist or hand with strength and confidence.


Conditions often treated by a hand therapist:

  • Post -surgical conditions : carpal tunnel, cubital tunnel, Brachial plexus injuries, nerve compression release, flexor or extensor tendon repairs
  • Over use injuries: tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, Trigger finger
  • Tendonitis/tendonopathies, DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis
  • Frozen shoulder, shoulder impingement syndrome
  • Fractures
  • Dupuytren Disease
  • Tenosynovitis


Hand therapies may involve a wide variety of techniques and modalities

  • Thermal agents: parafin, hotpacks, cold packs
  • Electric modalities: iontophoresis, phonophoresis
  • Ultrasound
  • Manual therapy, joint mobilization, soft tissue mobilization, myofascial release
  • Graston® technique
  • Custom orthoses
  • Static splinting, dynamic splinting
  • Orthoses for fracture stabilization

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