7 Factors to Consider When Choosing Hand Therapists
October 20th, 2020
7 Factors to Consider When Choosing Hand Therapists
If you have an issue with your hand, you should know your options for therapists. Here are factors to consider when choosing hand therapists.
Did you know that up to 6% of American adults suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome? Without proper treatment, the condition worsens, eventually resulting in severe nerve damage in the worst cases.
Hand therapists can help treat this and other common hand and wrist injuries, to help make your life easier and less painful.
But, how do you choose the right hand therapist for your needs? This guide is here to help.
Keep reading to learn about the most important factors to consider when choosing a PT to ensure you have the best hand therapy experience possible.
1. Ask for Doctor Recommendations
When you initially get treatment for your hand ailment, your doctor will tell you if you need hand therapy as part of your treatment plan.
It is the perfect opportunity to ask your doctor for recommendations on hand therapists. Because your doctor is very familiar with your injury, they can recommend a physical therapist specializing in your injury, if needed.
For example, if you have carpal tunnel syndrome, your doctor likely knows a hand therapist who has plenty of experience treating carpal tunnel cases like yours.
Asking for a doctor’s recommendation also helps ensure that you’re getting a vetted therapist, which can offer you peace of mind that you’re in good hands (no pun intended!).
2. Verify Insurance Compatibility
One of the most important things to consider when choosing between hand therapists is whether they accept your insurance.
Unfortunately, the lack of insurance coverage leads many people to abandon physical therapy altogether, leaving their injuries never quite fully healed.
Not only is this painful, but it can lead to further health complications down the road.
By only looking at hand therapists that accept your insurance, you’ll save yourself the headache – and added costs – of trying to pay for your treatment out of pocket.
3. Consider Their Specialties
As we mentioned above, depending on the nature of your hand injury, you may need to work with a specialist during your physical therapy.
After talking to your doctor about recommendations and looking for in-network providers, do some research online about local hand therapists that specialize in treating injuries like yours.
While all certified physical therapists can help, working with a specialist gives you access to a treatment plan customized to your specific needs.
4. Check References and Reviews
Do you make an online purchase without reading any reviews? Most likely, the answer is no. Why should choosing a physical therapist be any different?
You should put more thought into choosing a hand therapist than you would when buying a pair of shoes online.
One of the best ways to get an idea of what to expect when working with a physical therapist is to read through online reviews. It gives you an unbiased look at what former or current patients think about the treatment plan from their therapist.
You can also call the therapist’s office and ask for references as well. A little research beforehand can help ensure you have the best physical therapy experience possible.
5. Ask About the Recovery Timeline
When talking to potential therapists, ask a few questions regarding the expected recovery timeline for your injury.
Not only will this give you an idea of what to expect during your therapy treatment, but it can help you gauge what the average timeline should be.
If you talk to three therapists and two of them say the timeline is six months, while the third says it’s six weeks, that gives you a good idea that the third therapist may not take their time when working with you.
On the other side, if the first two say to expect a six-month timeline and the third one says to expect your recovery to take two years, that could mean they’re trying to get the most amount of money by stretching out your treatment.
A good hand therapist won’t rush your treatment, but also won’t have you continue to come unless it’s necessary.
6. Visit Multiple Therapists
It’s ok to visit multiple physical therapists in your search to find the right one for you. Just because you go to one session doesn’t mean you’re “locked-in” with that therapist forever.
After your first visit, you may realize that you don’t have a good rapport with the therapist, which is fine.
Of course, if you hit it off with your first physical therapist and you don’t feel the need to continue looking, that’s even better!
7. Get an At-Home Treatment Plan
A good hand therapist knows that treatment doesn’t just happen in the office, during appointments. You should receive an at-home treatment plan as well, with exercises you can do to continue healing.
If you visit a physical therapist who doesn’t give you an at-home treatment plan, it could be a sign that it’s not the right choice for you.
Don’t be afraid to ask for a treatment plan you can take home during your appointment if one isn’t offered.
Common Hand Injuries that Require Physical Therapy
Now that you know how to choose the right hand therapist for your needs, here’s a quick overview of some of the injuries that may require physical therapy.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Fractured hands, fingers, or wrists
- Dislocation of hands, fingers, or wrists
- Joint injuries
- Pulled or strained muscles
- Injuries sustained from sports or car accidents
Remember, all cases are different. Just because you suffer one of the injuries above doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need physical therapy. It all depends on the severity of your injury and what your doctor believes is the best treatment.
Our Hand Therapists Are the Best of the Best
When looking for hand therapists in Queens, Bronx, or Manhasset, look no further than the Nick Roselli Occupational Therapy team.
We’re the best in the business, and we’re here to make your recovery the best experience possible. Request an appointment today to start on your path to pain relief.