Hand Therapy is a specialised service in which hand disorders and injuries are managed using a variety of methods, which requires Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists to undergo extra training to acquire specialist knowledge and skills to treat patients with problematic hands.
Hand Therapists assess, treat and rehabilitate patients who have undergone surgery, traumatic hand and upper limb injuries, or who have conditions such as arthritis or nerve compression.
We know that early intervention can help to restore your upper limb problems, prevent complications and assist you to return to activities of work, leisure activities and social aspects of life as quickly as possible.
We can help with this by:
- Ensuring we are up to date with a wide range of specialist assessments, treatment and knowledge. Ensuring we are using evidence based practice
- Delivering and adapting effective individualised treatment programmes
- Recommending a variety of therapeutic interventions to suit your needs
- Working to achieve your goals, and our best outcome measures
- Ensuring our Hand Therapists are experienced, and regularly updating their skills
- Offering a confidential and honest and trustworthy, professional approach
Hand Therapy services are available at both Scunthorpe and Grimsby hospitals. The service currently takes referrals from GPs and a variety of hospital consultants, including from the Emergency department, Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and out-of-area specialists.
We are able to deal with a variety of conditions including:
- Traumatic injuries including fractures , soft tissue injuries
- Post-operative conditions including corrective surgery and tendon injuries
- Conditions such as Arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Nerve compressions like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Work related conditions ( Tendonitis, De Quervains Tendonitis, Triggering of digits)
Intervention we provide includes:
- Assessment, education and treatment
- Individualised home exercise programmes to help improve movement and strength
- Referral to a treatment/rehabilitation and exercise group
- Use of specialist computerised assessment and rehabilitation programmes
- Provision of pre-fabricated or custom made splints and supports
- Sensory re-education and desensitisation therapy for sensitive scars or nerve injury
- Management of swelling(oedema) with compression, ice, massage
- Advice on management of acute or chronic pain
- Preventative management of conditions such as Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Continuous psychological and emotional support
- Advice on returning to daily activities/hobbies.
- Advice on returning to work
What to expect
On the first visit the Hand Therapist will carry out a full assessment to establish more information about the condition, problems, needs, and patient goals.
This assessment will include:
- Detailed history of the condition including what, how and when!
- Assessment of current problems including pain, swelling, altered sensation, scar problems
- Physical examination including measurement of current range of movement and grip if appropriate
- Diagnosis and prognosis where appropriate
- Discussion regarding best treatment for problem.
- Establishing goals
- Exercise or splint prescription or rehabilitation group as appropriate
Patient goals are used to determine therapeutic input, and we use outcome measures to establish the efficiency of our output. Much of the therapy involves home exercise programmes with regular monitoring by the Hand Therapist to progress/continue improvement. Long-term problems and chronic conditions may involve modification of activities, joint protection or advice on self-management. Hand Therapists will liaise with the referring GP or Consultant and update them of progress or problems, and may refer back if there are issues which need addressing.
The service is constantly being re-evaluated and altered to reflect changes in evidence based treatments and interventions. Junior Therapists (Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy) are now able to spend time with the Hand Therapists with new rotational posts to increase their knowledge and experience. We regularly carry out patient satisfaction questionnaires and audits to ensure we give the optimum services, but value your feedback any time.