What is hand therapy?
Hand therapy specialists provide assessment and holistic rehabilitation for patients who have had hand or upper limb injury or condition. The treatment is tailored to suit the individual and focuses on returning the patient to an optimal level of functional activity.
Who is hand therapy suitable for?
Three Shires Hand Therapy services are available for anyone with problems with the hand, wrist forearm, elbow and for some conditions, the shoulder. This may be following surgery or an on-going complaint. For instance, tendon repairs and transfers, soft tissue injuries, fractures, joint replacements and fusions, following dupuytren’s disease or if you have arthritis or osteoarthritis. In certain cases hand therapy can reduce or delay the need for surgery.
What will happen during hand therapy assessment and treatment?
Upon referral, the Hand Therapist will assess your upper limb using a variety of exercises and movement. An assessment will usually include investigation into the following:
- History taking
- Observation and palpation of structures including provocative testing
- Range of movement
- Analysis of daily, sporting and leisure activities
- Scar and wound
Using information obtained during the assessment the Hand Therapist will develop a treatment plan, tailored to you, your condition and personal circumstances.
As part of a treatment programme we offer access to a variety of therapies including electrotherapy, exercise prescription and advice on adapting the way you carry out everyday tasks to help reduce the stress and strain placed on your joints.
Your treatment may also include massage for swelling or scar management and manipulative techniques to improve the range of the joint movement and reduce pain.
Your treatment will be built around you and will focus on activity that plans to return you to an optimal level of functional activity.
How much does a hand therapy session cost?
Initial consultations with the Hand Therapist cost £70 for 60 minutes.1
Follow-up consultations cost £50 for 30 minutes.
Please contact us directly to enquire about any package prices that we have available.
Please note your therapy sessions many be covered by your medical insurance however you will need to check your cover with your insurer first and you may need a GP referral.
How do I make an appointment?
You can make an appointment directly with the hand therapist by calling 01604 885033 option 2 or you can ask your GP or consultant to refer you if you prefer.
Meet our hand therapist, Kathryn Howard
Kathryn qualified with a BSc (Hons) in Occupational Therapy in 2004 and has been working as a specialist Hand Therapist since graduating. She is a member of BAHT (British Association of Hand Therapy) and has completed various post grad courses involved with BAHT including the following.
- BAHT level 1 Introduction to Hand Therapy
- BAHT level 1 Introduction to Hand Therapy
- BAHT level 2 Splinting the hand and wrist (thermoplastic, dynamic & neoprene splinting)
- BAHT level 2 The Wrist
- BAHT level 2 Management of Fractures
- BAHT level 2 Peripheral Nerve Injuries of the Upper limb
- BAHT level 2 Radiographic Imaging of the Hand
- BAHT level 2 Management of the Thumb
- Certificate in Premium Pressure Therapy
- Certificate in Therapeutic Ultrasound
Kathryn has been working as a Clinical Specialist Hand Therapist at Three Shires hospital since 2010.
She started her career as a Hand Therapist at Milton Keynes NHS Hospital and then moved to Northampton General NHS Hospital where she then worked as a Senior Hand Therapist and department lead for nearly 10 years. During this time, she gained experience in adult and paediatric complex trauma, orthopaedics, plastics and rheumatology.
With her combined NHS and private experience Kathryn has gained a high level of expertise in the management of complex upper limb conditions. She carries out specialised assessment and treatment techniques for a wide range of hand injuries, symptoms and conditions both pre and post-surgery.
She can assess and identify problems affecting the upper limb (hand, wrist & elbow) and provide advice on exercise, strengthening, sensory re-education, pain, scar & swelling management.
As part of her role within Circle Kathryn is working with the Bedford Blues RFC 1st team, the Northamptonshire County Cricket Team and is regularly involved in local GP and AHP teaching events.
For further information about hand therapy services in Northampton, or to make an appointment please call us on 01604 620311 or make an online enquiry.
1Self-funding and insured patients who are having hand surgery at Three Shires may have a hand therapy appointment included in the package. Please speak to the hospital for details.