The American Society of Hand Therapists (ASHT) is promoting Healthy Hands Week from June 8-12, 2009. This event is an opportunity for hand therapists to promote awareness of their services to the community.
Certified Hand Therapists (CHTs) are occupational or physical therapists who, through mentorship, experience, and continuing education, provide specialty services in the rehabilitation of the hand, arm and upper extremity.
ASHT’s Definition of Hand Therapy:
"Hand therapy is the art and science of rehabilitation of the upper extremity of the human body. ….. Using specialized skills in assessment and treatment, hand therapists work with their clients to prevent injury or impairment, restore functional activity, and enhance participation in daily life.”
A Certified Hand Therapist will work closely with their client and the physician to provide the best possible and outcome following an injury - either before or after surgery. Hand therapists are also highly qualified to provide preventative services and consultation to industry in health promotion, wellness and injury prevention. When providing industry consultation, hand therapists may recommend modifications of workstations and alternative work methods to help ensure healthy work styles of all employees.
The ASHT website offers prevention and safety tips for a number of common activities that can lead to hand injury and trauma such as bicycling, cooking, gardening, preventing carpal tunnel and strain injuries and using portable electronics and video games.
Marji Hajic is an Occupational Therapist and a Certified Hand Therapist practicing at the Hand Therapy & Occupational Fitness Center in Santa Barbara, California. For more information on hand and upper extremity injuries, prevention and recovery, visit Hand Health Resources.