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Specialists in:
Hand & Upper Limb Rehabilitation
Occupational Therapy
Workplace Rehabilitation
& Associated Services
  • Call:
    (07) 3843 6605
  • OFFICE HOURS for Bookings & Enquiries
  • Monday To Friday:8:30am / 5:00pm
  • Saturdays & Sundays: Closed
01 pageimage faqs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is hand therapy?
Hand Therapy is a discipline that addresses injuries and conditions of the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder. A Hand Therapist is an occupational therapist or a physiotherapist who has a minimum of 3 years clinical experience in direct practice in hand therapy and has successfully completed a programme of mentoring and post graduate education in upper extremity rehabilitation.

What are the techniques used in hand therapy ?
  • Splinting to protect the injury or limit certain movement after surgery.
  • Specialised compression techniques and media to control swelling and allow movement
  • Wraps
  • Provision of silicone media to control scarring
  • Dedicated home programs to facilitate and progress movement and upgrade function

What is the role of hand therapy after surgery ?
Utilising early protected movement and to limit and control swelling and scarring that leads to joint stiffness.

What can be done for hand and wrist fractures apart from plaster of Paris ?
Many undisplaced wrist and hand fractures can be managed with low temperature thermoplastic splints. These can be water proof and can be removed under controlled circumstances for hand hygiene and prescribed exercise. In many cases, this affords near normal hand use during the healing process.

How often do I need to attend hand therapy ?
You may need to come in twice or more in the first week, if you have had major upper limb surgery. This will gradually reduce to once weekly. Most non surgical presentations require once weekly intervention. The aim of hand therapy is to guide the client onto comprehensive home management programmes. We can supply most therapy equipment for home use.

Do I need a doctors referral ?
  • Yes, if you are covered by WorkCover or third party insurance or if you are a Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) patient.
  • All other clients (private health cover and non-insured) can be seen without a medical referral. Private health clients will require a medical referral if they need to claim for a splint.

How much will it cost?
If you have an accepted claim and a current medical certificate with WorkCover or a Third Party Insurer, then the cost of all services provided by HandsOn will be met by your insurer. Similarly, if you hold a Department of Veterans Affairs Gold/White Card, then the costs of services will be covered.

For all other clients, payment is required on day of service. The cost for an initial appointment is between $85 - $125, depending on the length of the service. The cost of consumables you may need as part of your treatment is in addition to the above.

If you are privately insured, treatment is covered under the "Extras" table. You may be eligible for reimbursement for both the service provided by your therapist and for any splint you may need as part of your treatment. You will be provided with a tax invoice to present to your insurer.

Is Hand Therapy covered by Medicare?
Hand therapy is not normally covered by Medicare. It is only provided for chronic conditions. If you think you may be eligible, you need to discuss this with your general practitioner who may include you on an EPC (Enhanced Primary Care) plan. Again, full payment is required on day of treatment and an appropriate tax invoice will be provided for presentation to Medicare.

Can hand therapy help with lymphoedema ?
Therapists at HandsOn are experienced in lymphoedema massage, compressive bandaging techniques and the measuring and fitting of off the shelf and custom made compression garments and gloves.

I had broken wrist/hand more than 2 months ago and I still have problems. Can hand therapy help ?
Chronic pain and stiffness can be very limiting. Healing takes place over many months, so even if you have had some therapy there is often more that can be done by you at home over a couple of months. This may require, for example, wearing a splint at night to stretch a tight joint or wearing a compressive glove for a chronically swollen hand that is unable to make a fist.

What are the common sporting injuries and how potentially serious are they if left untreated ?
  • One of the most common sporting injuries is an injury of the thumb ligaments (the so called skiers thumb). A long term complication of untreated skiers thumb is thumb instability which may require surgery.
  • Finger joint dislocations are also common. After joint reduction (realignment), untreated chronic swelling leads to loss of movement and function.
  • Rupture of the extensor tendon of the distal finger joint (mallet finger) is also common. Left unsplinted, the end result will be a permanent droop of the end joint which can interfere with hand use.
Finger and hand fractures are also commonly caused by sporting activities. They at least require protection by splinting (your doctor will decide if surgery is required). Failure to protect through the healing phase (with or without surgery) may result in healing in poor alignment, chronic swelling or pain.

Can anything be done for arthritis in the hands ?
Osteoarthritis is very common and usually starts to affect people from their late forties, particularly in the base of the thumb. Splints, either hard or soft, will protect the joint. In addition, hand therapists teach you the basics of joint mechanics which will allow you to re-evaluate how you carry out common tasks such as writing, turning keys and pinching clothes pegs. If modifying grip is sufficient then there is a surprising array of simple grip assistive devices available.

My doctor has told me I need a joint replacement in my thumb/knuckles/fingers and I will need therapy.
Most of the therapy is about wearing a hard plastic custom made splint for six weeks, with varying amounts of prescriptive exercise depending on the technique used and the joints involved. After six weeks, a night splint may be used to ensure the joint does not return to a position of deformity. Light strengthening is then commenced and then the resumption of presurgical activities. Modified handles on some utensils may assist the grip and place less strain on the repaired structures.

I have carpal tunnel and my doctor says that I may be able to avoid an operation.
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when a nerve (the median nerve) is compromised as it passes through the tunnel it shares with tendons at the wrist. Pressure on the nerve by wrist posture is considered the main cause. It is also more common in middle age and during pregnancy. While surgery releases the tight ligament which forms the “roof” of the tunnel, there are other ways of reducing pressure which may alleviate symptoms.

These include using custom made splints at night and by analysing and modifying provocative tasks in the home and at work.

Call us today on
(07) 3843 6605
or email us on team@handsontherapy.com.au to speak to one of our dedicated & experienced staff members about your particular requirements.
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