What is hand therapy?

Your hand is a vitally important, often overlooked part of your body that plays a huge role in most tasks. You slam your fingers in car doors, crack your knuckles, hit your fingers with hammers when you’re doing home DIY and so much more that you probably don’t register. Most people don’t realise that their pinky finger does much but it’s a vital part of your hand’s strength and being able to e.g. lift a plate out of the microwave. An injury to the pinky finger can mean that when you’re doing something simple like lifting that plate out of the microwave that you experience pain in your pinky finger, even if it’s not in contact with the plate.

Think about your thumb for a moment and how much you use it. You use it to put your socks on, hold your coffee, type, grip – everything. So if you were to have an injury to a finger or a thumb it’s VERY important you get someone who is an expert in hand therapy to take a look at it.

Hand therapy is a specialised type of physiotherapy where expert physios assess and treat elbow, wrist, hand and finger issues. These issues might stem from arthritis, hypermobility or even a sports injury.

Hand therapy may include releasing restrictions in muscles or tendons, mobilising stiff joints, providing supportive or protective braces and splints, or managing your post-operative recovery. There are so many small bones, joints, ligaments and muscles in and around the hand and it really does require specialised care to ensure that everything is working as it should.

Caroline Hayes is a clinical specialist physio. This means she has over 15 years experience treating issues around the body from the foot to the spine. She has also spent many years specialising in hand therapy and lymphoedema therapy. She’s available for consultations in our clinic and is able to make custom braces and splints if needed for your injury or post-op management as well!

Some splints, braces and supportive devices your hand therapists makes will even be supported by your health fund. The best way to know what you’re covered for is to contact your health fund directly.

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