You may be referred to see a ‘hands physio’ or hand therapist after an injury. Do you know what makes a hand therapist different to a general physiotherapist or occupational therapist? Let’s take a look.
What does a hand therapist do?
A hand therapist, or practitioner in hand therapy, is a qualified occupational therapist or physiotherapist who specialises in treating hand, wrist and upper limb injuries. Hand therapists have further gained their knowledge in the anatomy and rehabilitation of the upper limb by attending courses, clinical experience and self-directed study.
How can a hand therapist help?
Working closely with hand surgeons and general practitioners, they regularly custom-make thermoplastic splints or compression garments to help with patients’ recovery. Hand therapists treat conditions such as wrist fractures, carpal tunnel syndrome, hand and finger fractures, thumb arthritis and tendon injuries. They also are involved in the rehabilitation of patients after hand surgery.
What kind of qualifications do hand therapists have?
In Australia, Hand Therapists may also have the credential of an Accredited Hand Therapist, as awarded by the Australian Hand therapy Association (AHTA). Accredited Hand Therapists must complete credentialing program set by AHTA and have a minimum of 3600 hours of Hand Therapy experience. There are currently only 360 Accredited Hand Therapists in Australia.
Hand Therapy Group and Extend Rehabilitation employs both Accredited Hand Therapists and practitioners of hand therapy. If you’re looking for a Hand Therapist, get in touch with one of our clinics today.