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    Hands-On Treatment for Arthritis

    Hand therapy can play an integral part in the treatment for people with arthritis. While medications play an important role in the management of symptoms, hand therapy is a valuable adjunctive treatment to provide long-term benefit for a more functional and less painful daily life.

    Benefits of hand therapy treatments may include:

    • Reduction of pain, deformity, disability and instability

    • Increased range of motion and function

    • Increased strength and endurance

    Hand therapists may use different approaches to the problems caused by arthritis, including:

    • Fabricating or providing new equipment and teaching techniques to make activities of daily living easier and less painful

    • Fabrication of custom orthoses to stabilize and/or support joints

    • Development of a customized home exercise program

    • Stretches to keep joints more loose and flexible

    • Exercises to increase muscle function for endurance and strength

    • Modalities such as paraffin and moist heat to decrease pain

    • Instruction in joint protection, energy conservation and work simplification to protect and reduce external stresses on joints

    Professional hand therapists are highly specialized physical or occupational therapists with expertise in the delicate and essential functions of the hands, wrists, arms and shoulders.

    Call 444-5178 for more information about hand therapy at Rhode Island Hospital.

    Source: American Society of Hand Therapists