ASHT member raises hand therapy awareness in PA

jennifer neiheiser
Posted by bctv.org on 08/21/2017

ASHT member Jennifer Neiheiser was recently featured in the news, sharing information about the hand therapy speciality with BCTV. 

Penn State Health St. Joseph Hand Therapists Help Patients Get Back to Life

August 18, 2017
by Penn State Health St. Joseph

Reading, Pa. -- An injury to the hand can be devastating, resulting in an inability to perform basic tasks, to work or to enjoy favorite activities. Hand therapists at Penn State Health St. Joseph have seen the results of injuries to the hand again and again, and are dedicated to helping patients improve their conditions and get back to their lives.

“It’s amazing what you take for granted when it comes to your hand,” said Jennifer Neiheiser, an occupational therapist who has been certified as a hand therapist for 14 years. “Just stop and think about everything you would not be able to do if you didn’t have the use of your dominant hand.”

Hand therapists also treat wrist and elbow problems, and some address shoulder injuries, as well.

Although physicians and therapists have recognized the need for specialized therapy for patients with hand injuries since World War II, the first certification program was not established until 1991.

“It’s a relatively new specialty,” explained Monica Rush, director of rehabilitation services. “People were doing hand therapy, but there wasn’t that structure around it.”

Injuries to hands and fingers are among the most common workplace injuries, and can be complicated because of the way the hand is constructed. There are 28 bones in each hand.

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