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Certified Hand Therapy (CHT)

What is a Certified Hand Therapist?
A Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) is an occupational therapist or physical therapist who has a minimum of three years of clinical experience, including 4,000 hours or more in direct practice in hand therapy. In addition, the Certified Hand Therapist has successfully passed a comprehensive test of advanced clinical skills and theory in upper quarter rehabilitation. Because of changes in the profession, every CHT is required to demonstrate continued professional development and competency by recertifying every five years.

CHTs specialize in treating hand and upper extremity conditions. They work closely with orthopedic and general surgeons who also specialize in the hand to ensure maximal outcomes for patients.

What Can A Certified Hand Therapist Do For Me?
Hand therapists bridge the gap from medical management of upper extremity conditions to successful recovery, allowing individuals to function normally in their daily lives.

Hand therapists provide non-operative interventions, preventative care, and post-surgical rehabilitation for a wide variety of upper extremity disorders, from simple fingertip injuries to complex replanted extremities.

Patients with chronic conditions, such as arthritis, or neurologic conditions, such as a stroke, can benefit from therapy through education on joint protection and energy conservation, and with recommendations for adaptive equipment or devices to improve function.

A hand therapist employs a variety of techniques and tools, including activity and exercise programs, custom orthotic fabrication, management of pain and swelling and wound and scar care.

Common injuries/conditions treated by a Certified Hand Therapist:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Hand/Wrist
  • Birth Defects: Congenital Hand Differences
  • Boutonniere Deformity
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Ganglion Cysts
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome – CRPS
  • Dupuytren’s Contracture
  • Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
  • De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis
  • Trigger Finger
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Gout and Pseudogout of Hand/Wrist
  • Hand Infections
  • Swan Neck Deformity
  • General Hand/Wrist/Elbow Pain
  • Fractures of Hand/Wrist/Elbow
  • Mallet Finger
  • Brachial Plexus Injuries
  • Tendon Lacerations of Hand/Wrist
  • General Stiffness of Hand/Wrist
  • Burns of Hand/Wrist/Elbow
  • Custom Splinting/Orthotics