Physical therapists are evidence-based health care professionals who offer cost-effective treatment that helps improve motion and relieve pain. Highly educated, physical therapists practicing today must have a graduate degree–either a master’s or a clinical doctorate from an accredited physical therapy program–before taking the national licensure examination that allows them to treat patients.
Each patient is unique and requires a unique plan of care, custom tailored to their particular needs. Some of the potential goals of PT include:
You can think of occupational therapy (OT) as focusing on the typical day-to-day tasks that “occupy” our time, helping patients develop, recover, or maintain daily living and work skills. Occupational therapists often help clients improve their basic motor functions. They are also qualified to instruct those with permanent disabilities, such as spinal cord injuries, in the use of adaptive equipment, including wheelchairs, orthotics, and aids for eating and dressing.
Hand therapy is a specialized area of occupational therapy. Hand therapy primarily focuses on the treatment of upper extremity injuries including the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder. In order to become a Certified Hand Therapist (CHT), your therapist must perform an additional 4,000 hours of clinical practice treating hand, wrist and elbow injuries and successfully pass a national certification exam; this is above and beyond the master’s level program and state licensure exam they complete in order to become an occupational therapist.
At Southlake Orthopaedics, our CHTs and hand therapists work closely with our physicians to partner with you through the rehabilitation process. Having the physicians on-site allows our therapists to have direct access to your physician to best understand and evaluate your treatment options. This enables us to provide you with guidance and practical education on your specific injury, to collaborate with you to set mutual goals, and to act as your advocate with the physicians and insurance companies.
Whether you are recovering from surgery or simply needing to regain movement to improve your quality of life, occupational hand therapy can help get you back to your normal lifestyle. Treatments may include the use of physical agent modalities such as variations of heat and cold, ultra-sound, and electric stimulation. As soon as healing tissues tolerate exercises to improve movement, normalize sensation, and increase strength, coordination and agility will be added.
Typically, an orthotic device may be used to: