Professionally reviewed by Theresa Zapotochny, PT, CHT, Penn Therapy & Fitness Mount Laurel
From a fingertip injury to fractured elbows, a certified hand therapist (CHT) provides care and rehabilitation for a wide range of upper extremity injuries and disorders.
The upper extremity, also known as the upper limb, comprises bones, joints, tendons, nerves, blood vessels and muscles that all work together in unison.
What is a hand therapist?
A hand therapist works with you to restore function to any part of the upper limb affected by disease or injury. Whether you have surgery or not, a hand therapy can help you recovery use of your arm and hand.
What is a certified hand therapist (CHT)?
A certified hand therapist (CHT) is a physical therapist or occupational therapist who holds an advanced certification in hand therapy. CHTs possess comprehensive knowledge of how the upper limbs function.
To become a CHT, a therapist needs at least three years of experience and 4,000 hours of hand and upper extremity rehabilitation practice. CHTs must also pass a rigorous certification exam and renew their credentials every five years through continuing education and continued practice in hand therapy.
To help patients recover, a certified hand therapist uses various methods and tools to restore function, such as exercise programs, custom orthotics, splints, adaptive devices, management of pain and swelling, and wound and scar care.
Conditions treated by a CHT include:
- Crush injuries, fractures and sprains
- Injuries to tendons and ligaments
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Sports injuries
- Chronic arthritis & joint stiffness
- Tumors, growths and cysts
- Peripheral nerve disorders
- Nerve compression and injury
- Joint replacement
- Dupuytren’s contracture
- Infections and inflammation
- Post-surgery care and recovery
- Limb, hand or finger reattachment
- Hand or arm complications from a stroke or spinal cord injury
- Acquired or congenital deformities
Certified hand therapists treat at the following outpatient locations including:
- Bala Cynwyd
- University City
- Cherry Hill
- East Windsor
- Mount Laurel
Good Shepherd Penn Partners’ hand rehabilitation services provide comprehensive therapies for patients with injuries or reduced function in their upper limbs. To request an appointment with one of our hand therapists, call 877-969-7342 or visit our hand therapy page.