Upper Extremity Therapy
If you are injured or undergo surgery, your physician may prescribe therapy to help you recover to your fullest ability. Upper Extremity Therapy, or more specifically Hand Therapy, Wrist Therapy, or Elbow Therapy, plays a very important part in your recuperation, and you want to be completely sure that your therapist is the best one for you.
At Meridian Hand Therapy, we work one-on-one with patients to develop individual treatment plans to best address each patient's medical situation. We treat a wide range of conditions, including (but not limited to) the following:
Hand, Wrist, and Forearm
- Tendon repair in the hands and wrists are common after injury occurs in accidents involving cutting, tearing, crushing, or other heavy impact. Tendon repair surgery requires an expertly designed aftercare program in which a hand therapist works to help the patient regain full functionality of the hand.
- Broken bones and dislocated fingers are routine in hand therapy due to the frequency of occurrence in sports and in the workplace. Whether the injury requires surgery or immobilization, a hand therapist can help reduce swelling and fluid retention in the affected finger and determine the right time to begin motion to facilitate healing.
- CMC arthritis is a condition that affects the joint connecting the thumb to the wrist. This joint is subjected to a lifetime of constant motion, which can sometimes result in pain and weakness. In many cases, this condition can be managed without surgery using the tools and techniques provided by a hand therapist. In more severe cases where surgery is required, a hand therapist can assist in the proper healing of the joint to restore functionality.
- Traumatic injuries to the finger or hand, such as burns or amputations, can result in tough scar tissue that restricts motion. A hand therapist works to control the scarring process to retain as much mobility as possible.
- When joints of the finger are replaced, working with a hand therapist is necessary to reduce pain during healing and to slowly introduce increasing ranges of motion. Specific splinting techniques may be required to keep the joint in alignment as it heals, helping to reduce the need for secondary surgery.
- Trigger finger occurs when a finger is painful to bend or locks up in a bent position and cannot be extended. This condition can be greatly improved with early intervention in which a hand therapist focuses on reducing inflammation of the affected tendon.
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome usually occurs following an injury and is thought to be caused by a malfunction of the surrounding nerves. Special hand therapy treatments can be taught to reduce pain, burning, stiffness, and swelling associated with this condition.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and other related nerve issues can be treated with a regimen of splinting and nerve gliding to decrease pressure on the affected nerves.
- DeQuervian's Tenosynovitis and other related tendon issues, like Intersect Syndrome, can be effectively treated with hand therapy designed to reinforce proper hand and wrist positioning and methods of inflammation reduction.
- Wrist sprains affect the ligaments and alignment of the carpal bones. Sprains are one of the most common ailments that lead patients to seek a hand therapist for proper splinting and taping for stabilization as well as gentle strengthening exercises.
- Fractures that affect the hand, wrist, and forearm can be assisted with hand therapy both in cases that require surgery and in those treated with immobilization. When fractures are suspected but too difficult to diagnose, hand therapy can provide symptom relief and monitoring.
Elbow and Upper Arm
- Tendonitis and avulsions affecting the biceps or triceps can cause permanent loss of strength and mobility if not properly treated, in part, with hand therapy. A combination of stabilizing, positioning, and strength training exercises can be customized to restore full function of the elbow and upper arm.
- When fractures or dislocations require surgery to repair elbow ligaments, hand therapy must be customized to ensure stability of the elbow while rehabilitating the injury.
- Athletes and workers who engage in repetitive motions are prone to cases of lateral and medial epicondylitis, otherwise known as “Tennis Elbow” or “Golfer's Elbow.” A hand therapist can help manage this injury during the healing process and design a protocol to prevent future reinjury.
- After particularly severe injuries, a full or partial elbow replacement may be the only course of treatment available. A hand therapist can still work to ensure proper bracing and splinting during recovery and prescribe incrementally increased activities to restore original function.
- Nerve compression injuries, like cubital tunnel syndrome and radial tunnel syndrome, are common in both labor and office work. Though seemingly minor, these conditions can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort that can be easily treated and prevented through training in proper ergonomics in the workplace.
Schedule Your Appointment
Call Meridian Hand Therapy Today At (805) 497-1700
Thousand Oaks Hand Therapy
Discover the Real Benefits of Occupational Therapy
The goal in any hand therapy program is to help the patient return to a productive lifestyle. Working with a hand therapist allows patients to go beyond mere management of their condition by actively working toward a full and successful recovery. In most cases, this specialized form of occupational therapy allows individuals to resume normal function in their day-to-day activities.
Hand therapy focuses on a combination of patient education and training as well as adaptive recommendations and equipment. Patients benefit from learning about energy conservation and joint-protecting techniques. Using their years of experience, hand therapists can recommend a customized set of tools that may include simple exercises, stretches, and regimented activities to improve strength, flexibility, and overall function. Addressing pain, swelling, and wound care is another crucial component of successful treatment.
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