A hand therapist is an occupational therapist or physical therapist who, through advanced study and experience, specializes in treating individuals with conditions affecting the hands and upper extremity.
A qualified hand therapist can evaluate and treat any problem related to the upper extremity. The hand therapist can effectively treat and rehabilitate the patient through post-operative rehabilitation, preventative, non-operative or conservative treatment or industry consultation. The therapist works closely with the physician and patient to provide a continuum of care. This often starts within days of the injury or surgery right through the patient’s return to work and/or a productive lifestyle.
A hand specialist may also have advanced certification as a Certified Hand Therapist (CHT). A CHT is an OT or PT by profession with at least five years of experience, plus 4,000 hours of hand therapy practice (upper extremity rehabilitation). A CHT must have passed a certification examination that demonstrates knowledge of all areas of hand therapy before being granted the right to use the CHT designation. Hand therapists must renew their credential every five years through continued education and participation in hand therapy to continue using the CHT designation.
A hand therapy specialist provides:
- Accurate assessments, immediate care and effective treatment to reduce treatment time
- A continuum of care eliminating the need for multiple medical providers
- Faster recovery results in decreased medical costs
- Functional outcomes ensuring a faster return to work and productive lifestyle
- The most comprehensive care for their patients
Meet our hand therapy specialist –
Linda “Bailey” Mather, OTR/L, CHT
Linda CHT began her association with Pair & Marotta Physical Therapy in 1994. In 1976 she received a BS degree in Occupational Therapy. She is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association. Linda has also been a member of the Society of Home Therapist since 1984, and has been a Certified Hand Therapist since 1991.