Welcome to our comprehensive guide on hand therapy! At PhysioFlex, we understand the importance of hands in our daily lives and the challenges that can arise due to hand-related issues. We don’t realise how much we actually use our hands and fingers for every little activity in life. Until something goes wrong. And that is where we come in. In this informative resource, we’ll explore what hand therapy is, common hand diagnoses, the benefits of hand therapy treatment, including targeted hand exercises, and how we offer specialised hand therapy at PhysioFlex.
What is Hand Therapy?
Hand therapy is a specialised branch of physiotherapy that focuses on assessing and treating conditions affecting the hands, wrists, and upper extremities. Whether you’re dealing with injuries, post-operative recovery, or chronic conditions that impact hand function and finger movement, hand therapy is designed to help you regain optimal strength, mobility, and dexterity. We will cover the exact diagnoses we treat and specific exercises below.
Common Hand Diagnoses
Hands are incredibly intricate structures, composed of numerous bones, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Did you know that your hand is made up of 27 bones!? It’s unbelievable isn’t it. We have 8 carpal bones in our wrist, 5 metacarpal bones and 14 phalanges that make up the fingers. Some are very small. And so are the tendons and muscles that connect to them. Various conditions can affect hand health and function. Some common hand diagnoses include:
- Fractures in the Hand or Arm: Whether caused by accidents, falls, or sports injuries, fractures in the hand or arm require expert assessment and treatment to ensure proper healing and prevent complications.
- Arthritis (Including Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis): Arthritis can lead to pain, swelling, and decreased range of motion in the hands. Our hand therapists specialise in managing arthritis-related symptoms to improve hand function and alleviate discomfort.
- Crush Injuries: These injuries can result from accidents involving heavy objects, machinery, or trauma. Hand therapy plays a crucial role in promoting healing, restoring function, and preventing long-term complications.
- Tendon Lacerations: Cut or torn tendons can significantly impact hand movement. Our therapists work on surgical and non-surgical treatment plans to ensure optimal tendon healing and functional recovery.
- Repetitive Motion Injuries: Activities that involve repetitive motions can lead to conditions like tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Our specialised hand therapy addresses these issues to reduce pain, improve hand function, and include targeted hand exercises to enhance your recovery journey.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: This condition occurs when pressure on the median nerve in the wrist leads to symptoms like numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand.
- Trigger Finger: Characterised by a finger that gets stuck in a bent position and then suddenly releases, trigger finger is often caused by inflamed tendons.
- Tendonitis: Tendon inflammation can result from overuse or injury. Hand therapy treatments aim to reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, and restore tendon function.
- Synovitis (Inflammation of the Joint Lining or Membrane): Inflammation of the joint lining can cause pain and discomfort. Our therapists address synovitis through specialised techniques and exercises.
- Nerve Injuries: Nerve injuries can lead to decreased sensation and muscle control. Our hand therapy experts develop comprehensive treatment plans to aid nerve healing and restore hand function.
Our hand therapy experts are skilled in diagnosing and treating these and other hand-related issues, tailoring treatment plans to each individual’s unique needs.
As part of our comprehensive hand therapy approach, we incorporate targeted hand exercises into your treatment plan. These exercises are designed to improve strength, flexibility, and coordination in the hands, helping you regain optimal function and mobility. Our hand therapists will guide you through exercises that address your specific needs and goals, enhancing your recovery process. They will include exercises like this finger exercises below with stretch band. This creates an eccentric muscle resistance ensuring that they work constantly throughout the movement. You can also find an incredible amount of information at the Australian Hand Therapy Association.
Hand Physio at PhysioFlex
At PhysioFlex, we’re passionate about empowering you to regain control over your hand health with hand physio and hand therapy treatment. So that you can get back to everything that you do without noticing your hands. Our experienced hand therapists & Physiotherapists work closely with you to create personalised treatment plans that address your unique needs and goals. A typical hand therapy treatment session will include:
- Manual glides
- Massage and soft tissue work
- Heat with Wax baths
- Dry needling if indicated
- Exercises that your hand physio will specifically design for you. This is where we get creative.
Whether you’re an athlete recovering from a hand injury, an individual with chronic hand pain, or seeking post-operative rehabilitation. We are here to guide you on your journey to improved hand function and overall well-being.
Hand therapy is a vital aspect of physiotherapy that focuses on restoring hand function and enhancing quality of life. Whether you’re dealing with a specific hand condition or looking to optimise hand health, our hand therapy services at PhysioFlex are designed to guide you towards improved strength, mobility, and overall well-being.