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Hand Therapy Treatment Options

Island Hand Therapy Clinic has a variety of treatment options available to treat conditions of the upper extremity. We have compiled a list of common treatments along with a brief description of each one. Click the name of a treatment to learn more about it. For more information about hand therapy conditions and treatment options, please visit our links page or contact us.

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  • Assessments (initial and ongoing)
    Objective measures are recorded in order to create a baseline against which to measure progress. These may include range of motion, strength, sensation and function.

  • Mobilization of joints and soft tissues
    Progressive exercises designed to increase movement of joints, tendons, and nerves will be an important part of any program. Massage, joint mobilizations, stretches, continuous passive motion machine, muscle stimulation are adjuncts that may be used to help increase range of motion.

  • Development and monitoring of a strengthening program
    Once soft tissues are stretched out and joints are mobile, strengthening will be started. Specific hand strengthening equipment, pulleys, weights are available in the clinic. A home exercise program will be designed to assist in reaching functional goals.

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  • Splinting
    Custom splints will be selected and fabricated, as required, for support, protection, pain relief, function, and mobilization.

  • Management of scar tissue
    A comprehensive program will be developed for management of scar tissue to prevent contractures and thickened painful scars. It may include the use of scar massage, exercises, pressure garments, gel products, splinting.

  • Management of swelling
    Retrograde massage, compression pump, pressure garments, elevation, ice, and exercise work together to help decrease swelling. Other modalities such as contrast baths, ultrasound, TENS, HVGS, muscle stimulation may also be part of the program.

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  • Development of techniques to reduce neural tension
    Nerves, like muscles and joints can become tight, so require special exercises, known as nerve glides, to decrease symptoms. Massage, muscle stretches can be useful adjuncts.

  • Normalization of sensation by desensitization or re-sensitization
    Often after surgery or an injury, there is hypersensitivity or numbness around the scar. A program of desensitization helps minimize the uncomfortable sensations. Re-sensitization helps re-organize the perception of touch as the nerve recovers.

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    Application of techniques to enhance recovery

  • Whirlpool, Soaks, Hotpacks, Wax
    Application of heat helps to decrease pain and muscle spasm, and increase extensibility of joints, muscles, tendons, and scar tissue, thus allowing same advances during,and directly following, treatment.

  • Ice, Cool Whirlpool
    Ice or cold helps to decrease swelling and pain, and is especially effective in acute injuries in which inflammation is still a factor.

  • Contrast Baths
    Alternating warm and cold can help to decrease pain and swelling and is effective in chronic inflammation.

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  • Compression Pump
    A sleeve fills with air intermittently, putting pressure on the arm and hand, which helps pumps the swelling out of the tissues.

  • Ultrasound
    High frequency sound waves are transmitted into the tissues through gel or water, to help resolve local swelling, decrease pain and muscle spasm, and soften adhesions.

  • Phonophoresis
    This is the use of ultrasound to drive topical medications into the tissues, and can be effective in decreasing pain and inflammation.

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  • Neuromuscular Stimulation
    Muscle stimulation can be used to decrease muscle spasm, atrophy, or swelling, and assist in muscle re-education and reactivation.

  • TENS
    A modality aimed at decreasing acute and chronic pain.

  • High Volt Galvanic Stimulation
    A comfortable form of electrical stimulation that is effective in decreasing swelling, pain and inflammation

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  • Biofeedback
    This is a device that reads impulses from muscles, in order to assist in retraining muscle use or decreasing the incorrect muscle patterns to correct muscle imbalances.

  • Education regarding the condition and its management
    We consider education one of the most important aspects of hand therapy. Understanding the condition, and the expectations gives the client insight into the process.

  • Lots of T.L.C.
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