Therapy Services for All Hand, Shoulder, Wrist and Elbow Injuries and Conditions
Hand and upper extremity therapy services helps patients increase strength, endurance and function. Our therapy program uses advanced technology and is one of the most comprehensive in the region.
It is offered to patients in the hospital recovering from surgery and in several other convenient locations on an outpatient basis. It is staffed by occupational and physical therapists, many of whom have advanced certifications and specialty training in lymphedema, brachial plexus, ergonomics and work rehabilitation.
Partnering with Patients to Achieve Treatment Goals
Therapists work with the patients and their physicians to create individualized treatment plans. Patients and therapists become true partners in treatment and recovery as patients practice daily what they learn during therapy appointments. Many patients consider their therapists their “go-to” resource for education and answers to questions.
Therapy Services Include:
- Splinting – Therapists are experts in the science of creating custom-made splints as supportive structures. Splints may aim to improve function or to immobilize an injured limb, depending on the diagnosis and stage of rehabilitation.
- Exercise program – Improving range of motion, reducing swelling, increasing mobilization, re-educating muscles and building stamina are all goals of individualized exercise plans. As patients regain function and strength, therapists incorporate a variety of activities with weights, equipment, resistance bands and other tools.
- Pain management – Therapists work with patients to control pain in order to increase tolerance for exercise and prepare muscle tissue for additional work. Both medications and non-medical techniques including ice, heat, electrical nerve stimulation and other approaches may be used.
- Patient and family education – Education about the diagnosis, treatment elements, recovery expectations and timing, and how they all work together smooth the rehabilitation process.
- Lymphedema symptom relief – Therapists use massage, compression garments and exercise techniques to relieve symptoms of lymphedema following cancer surgery or radiation.
- Brachial plexus therapy – Therapists use specific range-of-motion exercises to prevent the muscles and joints from tightening in brachial plexus injury patients. They also assist with neuromuscular re-education and strengthening to improve functional use.
Activities of Daily Living, Work Rehabilitation and Ergonomics
In order for patients to feel secure using their hands and upper extremities at home, at work and at leisure, we have expertly trained staff to assist in activities of daily living, ergonomics education and work reconditioning. Tasks as simple as putting a car into “park” or buttoning a shirt can be difficult when hands and upper extremities are not functioning to full capacity.
Therapists work through “activities of daily living” with patients, teaching them strategies for approaching tasks, creating alternative approaches and suggesting aid devices and support resources as appropriate so they can function at the highest level.
Therapists ease a patient’s return to their job through work rehabilitation (or work reconditioning), developing exercises and activities to simulate job functions and teach patients strategies for preventing reinjury. Learn more about our Work Reconditioning program.
Ergonomics is the study of how humans interact with elements of their environment to keep healthy and productive. Through our Ergonomics Program, therapists who are experts in the field can evaluate where patients spend their time to suggest ways to correct current conditions and prevent future injuries. This many include elements such as furniture choice, posture, and strengthening or stretching exercises. Learn more about our Ergonomics Program.