Hand Therapy | UnityPoint Health - Des Moines | Physical Therapy

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Outpatient hand therapy at UnityPoint Health - Des Moines

Hand Therapy at UnityPoint Health - Des Moines

We use our hands for almost everything we do. From opening jars, typing, cutting vegetables to turning a doorknob; our hands are an integral part of our anatomy. So what happens when our hands experience trauma or an injury?

That's where UnityPoint Health - Des Moines' hand therapy specialists come in. Following an injury, trauma, condition or surgery, our team can help make a person's upper extremities work towards performing at their highest function.

What is hand therapy?

Hand therapy evaluates and treats injuries and conditions of the upper extremity. The upper extremity consists of the shoulder, arm, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand. There are a variety of therapies used to help a person return to their highest function post injury or diagnosis of a condition.

Find a UnityPoint Health - Des Moines Hand Therapist

Are you looking for an expert hand therapist in the Des Moines metro or believe you are a candidate for hand therapy services?

Hand Therapy is offered at our Physical Therapy - Penn Avenue clinic. Please call (515) 263-5143 to speak with our therapy team and discuss scheduling an appointment. 

What is a hand therapist?

Through advanced continued education, a hand therapist is an occupational or physical therapist with clinical experience. Hand therapists have significant knowledge in upper extremity conditions from the result of trauma, disease or a deformity.

Hand therapy combines occupational therapy and physiotherapy techniques to restore hand function. Often times, hand therapy is integrated into a person's recovery plan post hand surgery.

Why see a hand therapist?

An individual may visit a hand therapist for a variety of hand disorders, such as the following:

  • Tendon disorders (trigger finger/thumb, De Quervain's syndrome)
  • Arthritis
  • Swellings (Ganglion cysts)
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Dupuytren's disease

Furthermore, hand therapy can treat injuries to the hand. Types of hand injuries can include:

  • Flexor tendon injury
  • Mallet finger injury
  • Extensor tendon injury
  • Hand fractures
  • Nerve injury
  • Finger sprains
  • Finger dislocations
  • Skier's thumb

Hand therapy services can also help individuals who are coping with burns, amputations, scar management and wound care.

What can you expect in hand therapy?

You may be wondering what you can expect in an appointment with one of our hand therapy specialists. To begin, our hand therapists will measure a person's range of motion, hand strength, posture and nerve sensation to determine a baseline. From there, a person will talk with their therapist and identify their goals for each appointment.

A person's therapy sessions will be tailored specifically to his or her needs. A treatment program can include motion exercises, different types of stretches, strengthening and desensitization. An individual will also be assigned a series of hand exercises to do at home. These hand exercises will help a person's recovery advance faster than solely attending hand therapy sessions.

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