Hand Therapy Week June 6-13
By Rich Shegogue, Occupational Therapist/Certified Hand Therapist
Hands up everyone! It’s Hand Therapy Week! Most people are not even aware that there are therapists who specialize in treating the hand and upper extremity. Becoming a certified hand therapist (CHT) requires extensive preparation and commitment due to the specialized nature of hand anatomy, surgery and treatment. Hand function, alone, utilizes 27 bones and 34 muscles!
Obtaining the CHT credential requires completion of an accredited occupational or physical therapy program, followed by clinical practice as a licensed or registered OT or PT for a minimum of three years, during which candidates must complete 4,000 hours of direct clinical experience in treating hand and upper extremity conditions. After meeting these qualifications, candidates, must then pass a rigorous certification exam covering all aspects hand/upper extremity anatomy, surgery and treatment to demonstrate competency in hand therapy.
Hand therapists are uniquely qualified as rehabilitation specialists to treat all upper extremity conditions, from fingertip to shoulder. These include repetitive strain injuries, nerve compression and tendinitis, post-surgical conditions, hand/upper extremity trauma, fractures, as well as arthritis. Hand therapists also are skilled at fabricating custom orthoses, or splints, to meet individual patient’s needs and protect the hand, elbow, wrist or shoulder following surgery.
MMI has one of the largest hand and upper extremity practices in the Frederick area, with 2 board certified hand physicians, a hand specialty physician assistant, and six CHTs! Services are available at several of our Frederick clinics and in our Urbana location. If you are experiencing difficulty with daily living tasks due to hand pain, stiffness or other issues, schedule an appointment with one our providers.
Stay tuned to our social media this week for more information on the hand team at MMI, fun hand facts and tips, and exciting developments underway in our clinic. Be kind to your hands this week!