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Therapists help restore function to injured hands

August 02, 2011
Our hands are remarkable, versatile tools, so when they don’t work as well as they should, every part of life is affected. It’s the job of St. Mary’s hand therapists to help those suffering from an injury or disabling condition regain strength, mobility, and function.

St. Mary’s certified hand therapists (CHT) are occupational therapists with specialized training and extensive experience in rehabilitation of the hands, wrists and arms. Using exercise, manipulation, swelling management, scar management, and other techniques, hand therapists help their patients rebuild function and reduce pain.

“Many of our clients have been affected by an accident or trauma that’s left wounds, scars, burns, fractures, injured tendons or nerves,” says Ally Rajnowski, OTR, CHT, at St. Mary’s Life Center. “Others may have conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, or arthritis. And surgeons may order therapy for their patients following hand or wrist surgery to help maximize their recovery.”

Patients’ rehabilitation plans usually include therapy in the St. Mary’s Life Center hand clinic and exercises done at home, Rajnowski explains. St. Mary’s three hand therapists are also skilled at constructing custom splints the patient wears to exercise, immobilize, or stretch healing muscles or joints.