Occupational Therapy

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Karen Ayala, MS, OTR/L, CHT provides occupational therapy and hand therapy services at CTPO. Karen’s goal is to provide meaningful, evidence based therapeutic exercises and activities to assist her patients in recovering full function in activities of daily living, school, and sports or leisure activities after an upper extremity injury.

What Is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapists help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with injuries or disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations. Occupational therapy services typically include:

  • an individualized initial evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals,
  • customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals, and
  • an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan.

– See more at: http://www.aota.org/

What is Hand Therapy?

Hand therapy is the art and science of evaluating and treating injuries and conditions of the upper extremity (shoulder, arm, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand). Hand therapists also fabricate custom orthoses (splints) to support and protect upper extremity injuries as they heal. Hand therapists can help bridge the gap from the medical management of a patient’s injury or condition to a successful recovery, allowing the patient to function normally in their daily lives.

Who Are Certified Hand Therapists?

Hand therapists are licensed or registered occupational therapists or physical therapists who, through advanced study and experience, specialize in treating individuals with conditions affecting the hands and upper extremity. To obtain the CHT credential, a hand therapist must practice as an OT or PT for a minimum of five years, accumulating at least 4,000 hours of hand and upper extremity experience. Hand therapists must also pass a rigorous certification examination to demonstrate their competency in the practice of hand therapy.