*But really, they are 3 in 198.
We count ourselves lucky to have three Certified Hand Therapists (CHTs) on our team. According to the Hand Therapy Certification Commission, there are just 198 CHTs in Canada.
Lois Detlefsen is located in Pembroke, Ontario, offering services to people living in the Ottawa Valley.
But what is hand therapy?
In addition to being occupational therapists, Certified Hand Therapists, like Catherine, Lois, and Colin, are required to have a minimum of 5 years clinical experience, including 4,000 hours or more focused on hand and upper extremity therapy and pass a comprehensive exam. This is a lot of specialty training on its own, but they are also required to show continued professional and skills development in order to re-certify every five years.
There are 27 bones in the human hand. They are very complex and need to be treated accordingly by clinicians with expert training. – Colin Moore, OT Reg. (Ont), CHT
More than just hands.
Hand therapy includes the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder girdle.
CHTs are skilled in creating custom static and dynamic splints, conducting ergonomic assessments and modifications, and making equipment recommendations for clients who are living with conditions like:
- Carpal tunnel
- Crush injuries
- De Quervain Syndrome
- Dupuytren’s Contracture
- Flexor/extensor tendon repairs
- Gamekeeper Thumb (also known as Skier’s Thumb or UCL Tear, to get technical)
- Lateral Epicondylitis
- Medial Epicondylitis
- Limb loss and amputations
Occupational therapists are uniquely qualified to treat hands and upper extremity problems because of their specialty training in splinting, fine motor coordination, sensory-re-education, and functional training – all of which is covered in their university training.
Catherine, Lois, and Colin work with their clients to help them adapt, modify, and re-engage in their daily lives in meaningful way.