Drayer Marketing - Spring 2019
Blog

What is Certified Hand Therapy?

If your physician has performed a complex surgery or you have a complicated injury or illness, he may specify that you see a certified hand therapist (CHT) rather than a general practice occupational or physical therapist.

To be sure, a CHT is an occupational or physical therapist with at least three years of experience.

But a CHT also has 4,000 or more hours of experience with upper extremity rehabilitation, or hand therapy, according to the American Society of Hand Therapists.

A CHT must have passed a certification examination that demonstrates knowledge of all areas of hand therapy. This credential must be renewed every five years through continued education and ongoing practice in the field of hand therapy (ASHT, 2019).

As a therapy specialist, a CHT can evaluate and treat orthopedic problems including post-operative hand injuries (e.g. tendon repairs); repetitive injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, DeQuervains tenosynovitis, tennis elbow, and rotator cuff problems; arthritis; and nerve injuries of the hand and arm.

For instance, a CHT might make a custom orthosis or splint to support the healing or injured structures of a patient’s hand. This orthosis would require extensive knowledge of the injury and hand anatomy and a practical knowledge of the thermoplastic or casting material that would best support the hand.

In another example, a physician might refer a patient to a CHT to administer specialized testing to assist in a diagnosis. A CHT might work with a patient to decrease inflammation and pain that is masking the true underlying problem.

For more information about Certified Hand Therapy, visit ASHT.org. To find the clinic nearest to you, use our location finder.

References

American Society of Hand Therapists (ASHT). 2019. Why see a hand therapist? Retrieved on March 8, 2019: https://www.asht.org/patients/why-see-hand-therapist

 

Written by Pam Tutten, OTD, OT, CHT, CFE, Mount Holly, NC center

Share this article

Schedule an Appointment

You might also like

Physical Therapy Before Surgery
Blog

Benefits of Physical Therapy Before Surgery

Physical therapy is a healthcare specialty that helps patients with medical conditions or injuries that affect their ability to move and function. Through exercise, manual...

how to build ankle strength
Blog

How to Build Ankle Strength to Avoid Injury

As weight-bearing joints, our ankles experience a lot of wear and tear during the course of our lives. Over time, routine physical activity can take...

Aquatic Physical Therapy
Blog

Key Benefits of Aquatic Physical Therapy

Aquatic physical therapy is a form of physical therapy that takes place in a pool or other water environment. It is often used in conjunction...