I injured my hand at work a few months ago when a heavy container fell on it. It still hurts from time to time and I have some difficulty with it. My doctor suggested that I see an occupational therapist, but I'm not sure what he or she would do. What can they do for me?
Once a hand has begun to heal, it may need some strengthening or even retraining, depending on the severity and type of injury. It looks like this may be the case with your hand. Occupational therapists play a vital role in rehabilitation and helping people regain their function or independence as much as possible. Some of the things an occupational therapist may do are:
- Evaluation the injury and use his or her knowledge to determine a treatment plan in coordination with your doctor
- Look at your work or home environment to see if any adaptations need to be made.
- Evaluate your hand and make a splint or brace to help you use your hand more effectively.
- Provide exercises to strengthen and heal your hand.
- Show you how to care for your hand if it hurts or becomes swollen.
- Show you what you may do to help your hand should you feel pain.
Joyce Y.P. Wong, MMed.Sc. Time Off Work in Hand Injury Patients. In Journal of Hand Surgery. June 2008. Volume 33. No. 5. Pp. 718-725.
*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.