Hand Therapy

Nothing does more to affect our functions of daily living than injuries to the hand.

The intricately designed hand allows a concert pianist to bring music to our ears, a sculptor to bring beauty into our lives, and gives all of us the ability to work, play and tend to our activities of daily living. The functional loss of our hands may be devastating, both emotionally and physically.

Fortunately, modern surgical and rehabilitation procedures save many of us from the horrible thought of losing the use of our hands.

Whether you suffer from the pain and disability of carpal tunnel syndrome, degenerative arthritis or more severe traumatic injuries such as amputations or tendon lacerations, the appropriate therapy will help you in your recovery.

Benefits of Working with a CHT

People value the use of their hands and any loss of function through injury or accident may have a devastating effect on their lives. Anyone with an injury wants the very best of treatment to assure maximal recovery. The Certified Hand Therapist credential offers assurance to the public that the therapist has achieved the highest level of competency in the profession and stays up to date with practice within the field.

The intricate anatomy of the arm and hand frequently requires very delicate surgery, often with microscopic techniques. The technical complexity of these kinds of surgeries necessitates a high level of competence by therapists with advanced skills in upper quarter rehabilitation during postoperative recovery. Therapists must be knowledgeable about these advanced surgical techniques and postoperative therapy programs to become CHTs. They must also remain current with changes in hand therapy practice.

Certification is voluntary and difficult to attain. It involves meeting rigorous standards, developing a long-range career path, and acquiring the advanced study and training required to pass the certification examination. CHTs are therapists who demonstrated a personal dedication to the profession of hand therapy and a desire for advanced competency; they bring to their work a commitment and dedication to reach and maintain the highest standards in their profession. The CHT credential is recognized by many professional organizations as a benchmark for excellence in advanced specialty credentialing in health care.

Performance Rehabilitation is fortunate enough to have a certified hand therapist on staff and available to help you. Steven W. Srebnik, PT, MSPT, MS, CHT, the practice owner has been a physical therapist since 1986. Although he is the practice owner and has other therapists on the staff he has remained immersed in what he enjoys most; patient care. He has a diverse background in orthopedic physical therapy but has been specializing in hand therapy for the last 10 years and has been certified for the last 5. If you feel that you would benefit from the care of a certified hand therapist, please discuss it with your doctor or give us a call and we can assist you in getting the process started.

Who is a Certified Hand Therapist?

Hand injuries, due to the nature and complexity of hand structure, require great skill and expertise in caring for their recovery. Just as hand surgery is a specialty of medicine, hand therapy is a specialty of physical and occupational therapy. A Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) is an physical or occupational therapist who has a minimum of five years of clinical experience, including 4,000 hours or more in direct practice in hand therapy. In addition, the Certified Hand Therapist has successfully passed a comprehensive test of advanced clinical skills and theory in upper quarter rehabilitation. Because of changes in the profession, every CHT is required to demonstrate continued professional development and competency by recertifying every five years.

A certified hand therapist will often treat common hand problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome, fractures, trigger finger, contractures, and arthritic deformities. However, the true value of a CHT is clearly noted when complex conditions and surgeries requiring microvascular and microsurgical reconstructions or reattachments have been performed.

Hand Therapy is the art and science of rehabilitation of the upper quarter of the human body. Hand therapy is a merging of occupational therapy and the physical therapy theory and practice that combines comprehensive knowledge of the upper quarter, body function, and activity. Using specialized skills in assessment and treatment, hand therapists promote the goals of prevention of dysfunction, restoration of function, and/or reversal of the progression of pathology in order to enhance participation in life situations for individuals with upper quarter disease or injury.

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