Specialized Upper Extremity Injury Management
ProActive Physical Therapy is very proud of our team of highly-trained, certified hand and upper extremity experts. In line with our belief of offering the highest level of care for our patients and referral sources, our team of physical and occupational therapists are experts in the evaluation and treatment of highly complex upper extremity injuries and conditions.
If you are experiencing pain and/or loss of function in your hand, elbow or shoulder because of a recent surgery, acute injury or chronic condition, such as arthritis, the team of ProActive hand therapists will help guide you towards recovery. Whether your need is immobilization with a custom made hand splint for protection of an injury or surgery, hands-on mobilization to improve mobility of a stiff joint, or exercises to strengthen areas of weakness, our goal is individualized care specific to your needs that gets you back to the things you love to do.
Our team of Certified Hand Therapists (CHT’s) as well as our PT’s/OT’s awaiting certification are dedicated professionals, who through advanced training and years of experience, have achieved the highest level of certification possible for the treatment of hand and upper extremity injuries.
Start today by scheduling your appointment.
Hand Therapy Expertise
Certified Hand Therapists are experts in upper extremity injury evaluation and treatment.
Pre and Post Surgical Rehabilitation
Communication and partnership between hand surgeon and hand therapist is critical to a successful outcome following complex procedures. We work closely with local and out of area surgeons to accommodate immediate splinting needs and ongoing care following simple or complex procedures.
- Tendon repair
- Ligament reconstruction
- Nerve decompression
- Cartilage repair
- Joint replacement
Protecting complex repairs, stabilizing joints, or promoting motion are all accomplished through custom, patient specific splinting. Certified Hand Therapists specialize in custom hand splinting to protect complex repairs, stabilize joints and/or promote motion. We work closely with your surgeon and will build a custom hand splint specific to your needs and, of course, modify it as you recover.
- Post operative splinting
- Arthritis (rheumatoid or osteoarthritis)
- Post fracture splinting
- Pediatric splinting
The best injury is the one prevented. Many chronic upper extremity conditions can be managed and/or prevented through proactive evaluation and treatment by a physical or occupational therapist. Specifically to the upper extremity, many conditions develop due to poor ergonomics, positioning or faulty movement patterns that can be corrected. Often, physical therapy is underutilized in this respect.
- Exercise – strengthening and flexibility
- Postural education
- Work or home modifications
- Splinting or bracing
Certified Hand Therapists work with many patients on joint protection techniques and education to prevent further injury. Additionally, education on positioning and posture is very important during the recovery from injury or surgery or in order to prevent injury. Sometimes small modifications at work or at home can make big differences in your ability to perform basic daily tasks.
- Work station modifications
- Joint protection
- Splinting or bracing
Acute and Chronic Injury Management
When dealing with an injury to the hand, wrist or elbow, it becomes rapidly apparent how much we use our hands for day to day tasks. We take for granted our ability for fine motor tasks such as buttoning a shirt, writing, or tying our shoes. An injury can greatly impact the ability to complete the simplest of daily activities, therefore, initiating therapy with a Certified Hand Therapist can help in managing the injury.
- Pain relieving modalities
- Activity modification
- Patient education
- Exercise and home exercise programs
What is a Certified Hand Therapist?
A Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) is either a physical or occupational therapist who has achieved the highest level of certification possible in the treatment of hand and elbow conditions. The process to achieve CHT certification is a rigorous one, requiring 3 years of clinical practice with 4000 hours of direct practice in hand therapy, along with successful completion of a comprehensive test on advanced clinical skills, evaluative skills, and theory in upper quarter rehabilitation.
When you receive care from a CHT, you are receiving care from an elite individual. There are roughly only 6000 CHT’s worldwide.
Do I need a special referral to receive hand therapy?
If you have a hand or upper extremity injury or surgery, it’s likely that your physician is already familiar with physical/occupational therapy and how it will benefit you. Depending on the area of injury and the facility closest to your home, we will work with you and your physician to determine the best therapist to treat your specific condition. In some cases, this will be a certified hand therapist (CHT) specifically trained to treat your condition. Because our CHT’s work side by side with physical therapists in our facilities, there is always someone available to care for you and your condition.
If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us and speak with our friendly office staff. They can assist you and even connect you with a CHT for a phone consultation.
Do you offer hand therapy at all of your locations?
We don’t currently offer certified hand therapy services at all facilities. Because of the unique nature of the specialty and the certification required, we have 4 locations conveniently located in Tucson offering certified hand therapy services (North, Central, East and South Tucson). We will work with you to get an appointment rapidly at the location most convenient to you.