Hand Therapy Center Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Hand Therapy?

A: Hand Therapy is rehabilitation of the hand and upper extremity. The purpose of therapy is to restore optimal function. The therapists at the HSS Hand Therapy Center focus on evaluation and treatment of the hand, wrist, and elbow.

Q: What is a Hand Therapist?

A: A Hand Therapist is an Occupational or Physical Therapist who specializes in rehabilitation of the hand and upper extremity. Hand Therapists are extensively trained and educated in this specialty, and many receive advanced certification in Hand Therapy. Special skills include expertise in making custom splints. All of the therapists at the HSS Hand Therapy Center have specialized training in Hand Therapy.

Q: Should I see an Occupational Therapist or a Physical Therapist?

A: Both Occupational and Physical Therapists may specialize in Hand Therapy. They are equally qualified to provide your care. There is no difference in the treatment you will receive from an Occupational or Physical Therapist at the HSS Hand Therapy Center. We will advise you if your insurance benefits differ for Occupational and Physical Therapy services.

Q: Can I have some visits with an Occupational Therapist and some with a Physical Therapist?

A: Occupational and Physical Therapy are considered separate professions, even though the same Hand Therapy treatments are provided. Therefore, we must request insurance authorization for a specific profession. You should continue your therapy with the profession with which you begin.

Q: If I don't live near HSS, how can I find a Hand Therapist?

A: The HSS Rehabilitation Network can help you find a Hand Therapist within its membership of rehabilitation providers in the New York tri-state area. For a list of these providers, please see the HSS Rehab Network Hand Therapy Referral Sheet (pdf) or contact us at 212.606.1660 to ask us for the list.