Hand Therapy

Kim Thruston, OT

Certified Hand Therapist

What is Hand Rehabilitation?

Occupational Therapy and Hand therapy is a rehabilitation specialty that focuses on tissue manipulation and healing of the hand and arm, to increase skill and strength as needed for individual activities, such as daily living, employment tasks, and personal hobbies.  Protection of ligaments, joints, tendons and nerves is essential throughout the rehabilitation process. Adaptive equipment and splints may be utilized to maximize function and safety.

Because of the intricacies of hand design, communication among patient, therapist, and physician is imperative and a priority for optimal recovery.  Patient education leading to self management is stressed.

What Conditions Can be Treated?

  • Amputations/Digit Replantation
  • Arthritis
  • Burns & Open Wounds
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndromes
  • DeQuervain’s
  • Dupytren’s Disease
  • Fractures
  • Ganglion Cyst
  • Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)
  • Nerve Compression Syndromes
  • Post Stroke Weakness/Fine Motor
  • Coordination Deficits
  • Spacticity / Contractures Following
  • Stroke
  • Tendon & Nerve Lacerations
  • Tendonitis
  • Tennis Elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
  • Trauma to the Hand
  • Trigger Finger
  • Post-Surgical Rehabilitation


What Treatments May Be Included in Hand Therapy?

  • Rehabilitation
  • Augmented Soft Tissue Mobilization
  • Compression Wraps or Garments
  • Coordination and Endurance Training
  • Functional Exercise
  • Job Simulation
  • Joint Mobilization
  • Muscle Re-Education
  • Posture Training
  • Sensory Education/Protection
  • Splinting
  • Wound Care & Dressings

Why Choose Rehabilitation with a Certified Hand Therapist?

To become a Certified Hand Therapist, an Occupational Therapist must have a minimum of five years experience in general rehabilitation, a minimum of two years experience in hand rehabilitation, and must pass a national certification exam. This specialty certification must be renewed every five years by completing specific continuing education requirements and documenting successful ongoing therapy services specific to hand, arm and cervical related injuries.

Kim Thruston, MOT, OTR/L, CHT

Specialization: Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) specializing in the treatment of hand and upper extremity injuries to include carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, sports medicine injuries and arthritic conditions of the hand. Fabrication of custom splints for the hand, fingers, thumb, wrist and elbow.

Kim Thruston, MOT, OTR/L, CHT

Kim Thruston, MOT, OTR/L, CHT

Kim Thruston, a Certified Hand Therapist, says her choice to become an occupational therapist was based on the uniqueness of the profession.
“They look at the whole picture when it comes to a patient’s treatment – the individual’s abilities, the task to be performed, and the environment in which the task takes place.  I enjoy that our goals as an occupational therapist are to enhance an individual’s activities of daily living despite injuries to the hand and upper extremity. It is satisfying to help patients return to maximum functional independence for the activities of daily living, leisure and work-related tasks.”
Kim also loves the fact that an OT’s background is also in psychology.

“I enjoy that the patient receives assistance from us for the physical injury as well as the psychological components,” she says.

Kim earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Georgia and a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Concordia University Wisconsin.

Her Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) designation places her in an elite group of specialists who have met the standards set by experts in the field of hand therapy. She has the highest professional expertise in the field of hand therapy. She is affiliated with the American Society of Hand Therapists and the American Occupational Therapy Association.
Kim has practiced Occupational Therapy since 1999, primarily with outpatient orthopedic and neurological diagnoses.  Currently she specializes in the treatment of hand and upper extremity injuries to include carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, sports medicine injuries and arthritic conditions of the hand.  She also fabricates custom splints for the hand, fingers, thumb, wrist and elbow.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with our Certified Hand Therapist (CHT),
Kim Thruston, MOT, OTR/L, CHT , contact us at our Forest Lakes-Hollymead or Culpeper clinics.

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