Adapting Behaviors and Environments for Health and Productivity
Staff who care for hand and upper extremity patients are experts in ergonomics – understanding how humans interact with elements of their environment to keep healthy and productive. These experts can conduct an ergonomic assessment of how a patient’s shoulders, arms and hands work with the rest of the body in home, work and leisure activities. They then recommend strategies for correcting conditions, preventing further injury and minimizing the need for advanced treatments like surgery.
Education Helps Patients Protect Against Reinjury
Especially for patients with carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, trigger finger and other repetitive use or cumulative trauma conditions, ergonomics education is an important aspect of treatment. Therapists teach patients about the anatomy of their injured body parts so they understand how the parts move and work.
Patients then learn how certain movements or postures increase or decrease the risk of injury. In this way they can alter their behavior to ease the strain on their hands and upper extremities and strengthen specific muscles to improve posture and increase endurance.
On-Site Work Evaluations (Ergonomic Assessments)
To ensure the full function of our patients, staff will perform an on-site work evaluation when physicians request the service for patients. A therapist will watch the patient at work and evaluate the postures, forces, repetition, tools, office furniture and the physical environment affecting the patient.