Should you be seeing a CERTIFIED Hand Therapist?

Monday, June 26, 2017
Mid America Rehab Certified Hand Therapist Bob Sherrill

Why is it important for me to see a Certified Hand Therapist (CHT)?

Treatment for the upper extremities is a highly specialized skill, and your choice of therapist is critical to your recovery and your ability to restore or retain motion and function. The credentials that a CHT holds ensures that your therapist has the highest possible level of competency and the most up-to-date knowledge and expertise for your care.

What does a Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) treat?

Injuries to the upper extremities are very common but can be complex. A CHT can evaluate and treat almost any issue with the upper extremities. They can provide non-operative intervention, preventative care, pre-surgical strengthening, and post-surgical rehabilitation. They treat conditions of the arms, shoulders, elbows, hands, wrists and fingers. They work with injuries such as fractures, carpal tunnel, rotator cuff injuries, and amputations to name a few. CHTís treat conditions such as arthritis, tennis elbow, or golferís elbow, and they work with patients with neurological conditions such as a stroke, or patients with nerve conditions or injury.

Because of their specialized knowledge, CHTís are also called upon for industrial consultation to evaluate workplace environments in order to make recommendations for workplace modifications and alternative work methods to help prevent potential future injury for workers.

Ryan Buchheit, PT, CHT, CEAS, working with a Janice Geile after a reverse shoulder replacement surgery.

What is the difference between a Physical or Occupational Therapist and a Certified Hand Therapist?

Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists can practice in any specialty area of their professions, such as general rehabilitation, neurological rehabilitation, head injury, orthopedics, pediatrics, geriatrics or hand therapy.

Certified Hand Therapists, or CHTs, are Occupational or Physical Therapists with advanced study and training, a minimum of 3 yearsí experience and 4,000 hours of direct care of patients with upper extremity injuries. They are required to pass a certification exam that ensures their extensive knowledge of all areas of hand therapy. They must renew their credentials every five years through continued education and participation in hand therapy in order to retain their certification. At Mid America Rehab our CHTís have a minimum of 9 yearsí experience in hand therapy.

For more information about Hand Therapy and the conditions that they treat, contact us at, or call any of our clinics to learn more or schedule a FREE evaluation.