We do so much with our hands so often that it’s easy to take them for granted and never give them a second thought – until we find ourselves living with a hand injury or disorder. Once this happens, our normal routines are no longer possible, and we must work around a number of new and painful limitations caused by a painful hand. Fortunately, help is available in these frustrating and life-changing scenarios.

At the East Suburban Sports Medicine Center, our certified hand therapist uses the foundations of occupational therapy practice and an extensive knowledge of the upper limb to assess, plan, and carry out treatments of the hand (as well as the wrist, elbow, and shoulder). Our ultimate goal in these cases is to restore function, prevent dysfunction, and reverse the progression of pathology with a large variety of upper limb disorders and conditions.

To address your upper limb pain points, contact us today to schedule an evaluation at ESSMC Monroeville or ESSMC Murrysville. To receive your evaluation and begin discussing your care needs, please call us at (412) 856-8060 or submit an online appointment request form.


 

FAQs on Hand Therapy:

 

What Is Hand Therapy?

Certified Hand Therapy is a specialty practice focused on the rehabilitation of the upper limbs, including the hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder. At the end of hand therapy, a recovered patient is able to perform normal tasks and participate fully in self-care, work, and leisure activities.

 

Why Might Occupational Hand Therapy Be Needed?

Occupational therapy can help individuals with hand injuries and musculoskeletal or neurological hand disorders by:

  • Improving joint motion
  • Increasing dexterity
  • Helping to manage pain
  • Controlling swelling and scar formation
  • Aiding in healing through wound management
  • Restoring movement and sensitivity by re-educating muscles and nerves
  • Correcting and preventing deformities through the use of splints
  • Providing training in using prosthetics and adaptive equipment
  • Providing work conditioning 

Physicians also often prescribe the use of specially-made splints as part of a patient’s hand rehabilitation program. Occupational hand therapists are trained to properly size and create splints for a variety of needs. In addition, they can provide instruction to patients and caregivers in the proper use of prosthetics and adaptive equipment to replace lost function.

 

Who Offers Professional Hand Therapy At ESSMC?

Our Certified Hand Therapist, Carolyn McElhaney, has over 25 years of experience in hand therapy in the Pittsburgh area, having worked in both hospital and outpatient settings. She uses the foundation of occupational therapy practice together with an extensive knowledge of the upper limb to assess, plan, and carry out treatment to restore function, prevent dysfunction, and reverse the progression of pathology with a large variety of upper limb disorders and conditions.

In 2014 she earned her hand therapy certification from the Hand Therapy Certification Commission. Carolyn originally graduated in 1992 from College Misericordia with a BS degree in occupational therapy. She also holds an AS degree in occupational therapy from Mount Aloysius College. Use this link to learn more about Carolyn.

 

If you’re looking for a hand therapist in the Pittsburgh area, please call us at (412) 856-8060 or submit an online appointment request form.


 

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