HandWorks Hand Therapy provides evaluation and certified hand therapy/treatment of upper extremity injuries and disorders by Sally P. Gillenson, certified hand therapist and clinic director. We are conveniently located in Saddle Brook, NJ in the heart of Bergen County. We fabricate custom dynamic and static splints (orthotics) as prescribed by the patient's doctor. We effectively treat and restore the patient's functional abilities through postoperative rehabilitation, preventive, non-operative, and/or conservative management. We work closely with hand surgeons and other physicians, nurse case managers, and patients to provide a continuum of care. Ideally, this starts within days of the injury or surgery — and continues until return to work and/or attainment of maximum functional levels in activities of daily living.
On HandWorks' 6th anniversary, we'd like to thank all of the wonderful patients that have trusted us with their treatment, our awesome docs, our families, and our friends, both old and new. We appreciate each and every one of you! Here are some of the messages that our patients have sent us:
"Happy Anniversary to the best hand therapy practice in existence"
"Congratulations! You are the best..professional..compassionate..effective & friendly - a winning combination! Thank you!"
"Happy anniversary to the best OT practice around."
"You are awesome professionals, who are extremely dedicated to your patients' rehabilitation & overall wellness. Continued success providing great care and therapy to your HandWorks' patients!"
Here are five things you may not know about Sally, Kathy, and HandWorks:
1. We run food drives for the Center for Food Action several times per year, a holiday toy drive for the PBA, a backpack drive for Hackensack and Moonachie elementary schools, and we walk a 5K for charity
2. Sally not only has a Masters degree in Occupational Therapy, she also holds an MBA in Finance
3. Kathy was inducted into her high school's athletic Hall of Fame
4. Sally and Kathy speak and understand quite a bit of Spanish. Kathy is excited to be learning Polish from some of our current patients
5. HandWorks has treated an NBA basketball player, and an Olympic ice skater, who skated for the Ukraine at the Sochi 2014 Olympics!!!!
With the arrival of warmer temperatures this spring and summer, gardeners across the country are anxious to get started completing the many garden tasks ahead. Resuming the physical activities of gardening requires time to acclimate to these demands. A relaxing and enjoyable activity for many, gardening can turn dangerous without proper precaution as repetitive stress injuries, tendonitis, and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can stem from this pastime. Additionally, simple scrapes, blisters, and bites can turn into serious problems if not treated appropriately. Since prevention is the best approach, the American Society of Hand Therapists (ASHT) is providing warm-up exercises and injury prevention tips to help all levels of gardeners avoid serious and long-term injuries while enjoying this popular outdoor activity.
“The repetitive movements associated with gardening such as raking, weeding, digging and pruning put stress on the hand and wrist. Many gardeners spend hours performing these activities with improper form, which can lead to a variety of problems in the hands and entire upper extremity,” said ASHT Past President Donna Breger Stanton, MA, OTR/L, CHT, FAOTA. “Warming up before gardening is just as important as warming up before a vigorous workout. After warming up, stretching exercises for the major muscle groups that will be involved in performing the task can reduce the risk of injury.”
ASHT recommends following these upper extremity warm-up exercises prior to gardening:
Note: These exercises should never be painful when completing them. You should only feel a gentle stretch. Should you experience pain, please consult a hand therapist or physician.
· Fold your hands together and turn your palms away from your body as you extend your arms forward. You should feel a stretch all the way from your shoulders to your fingers. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat eight times.
· Fold your hands together and turn your palms away from your body, but this time extend your arms overhead. You should feel the stretch in your upper torso and shoulders to hand. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat eight times.
· Place your hand just above the back of the elbow and gently push your elbow across your chest toward the opposite shoulder. This is a stretch for the upper back and shoulder. Stretch both the right and left arms. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat eight times.
· Raise one arm overhead. Bend the elbow. Place the opposite hand on the bent elbow and gently push the elbow back further. This is a stretch for the triceps. Stretch both the right and left arms. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat eight times.
· Extend an arm in front of you, making sure the elbow is completely straight. With your palm down, take the opposite hand and bend in the wrist downward. Then turn the palm up, and stretch the wrist backwards. This stretches the forearm and wrist muscles. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat eight times.
“Warming up by walking around the lawn or garden a few times then taking the time to stretch is advisable before beginning a demanding task. Poor form and bad habits during gardening can bring an early end to the gardening season. ASHT is providing gardeners with simple and helpful tips to help avoid painful injuries,” said Breger Stanton. “Following these guidelines is the best way to stay healthy and enjoy the many benefits of gardening.”
ASHT released professionally designed guidelines to prevent injury and foster healthy gardening practices:
· Wear gloves at all times. Bacteria and fungus live in the soil and a small irritation or cut can develop into a major hand infection. Glove choice should be specific to the specific task. Thick, leather or suede gloves may protect your hands from thorns, cuts and scrapes while pruning roses. Rubber or latex coated gloves may be appropriate to aid in grip when working in the soil.
· Keep your hands and arms covered. Be especially careful if you live in an area where you may disturb a snake, spider, or rodent living in your garden. You will be better protected from poison ivy, insect bites and other common skin irritants that may inhabit a garden.
· Take a break every hour or switch to another activity. Overuse of repetitive motions, such as digging, and sustained/ constant gripping can cause tendonitis of the wrist, elbow or lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Break up large tasks into short sessions, with a rest and stretch break between gardening sessions to reduce muscle fatigue.
· Use a tool when digging into unfamiliar or new areas. Buried sharp objects can cause tendon lacerations or punctures. Use the correct tool for the task at hand in order to avoid accidental injury.
· Store your tools to prevent accidents. Learn how to use and store your tools correctly to prevent accidents, and keep sharp tools out of the reach of children at all times. Also make sure to put all tools away after use to prevent future injuries.
· Regular/ Periodic tool maintenance. Keep garden tools in top working order to reduce the physical effort required as we work in the lawn and garden.
· Use well designed tools: Use tools with non-slip rubber or padded handles to protect the smaller joints in your hands.Make a circle with your index finger and thumb--that is how big the grip of your tool should be. The shape of the handle should provide equal pressure along the palm.
· Avoid awkward motions. Using better body positioning minimizes muscle pain. Work with the wrists in a neutral position by avoiding the extremes of motion (up, down and sideways). Hold objects with a light grasp or pinch, avoiding a tight sustained grip. Use both hands for heavy activities like lifting a bag of potting soil and alternate hands on more repetitive tasks like scooping dirt out of the bag into a pot.
· Plan ahead. Use a basket or large handled container to carry supplies to the garden. The basket should be carried with both hands, distributing the workload equally and decreasing stress in the joints of your upper body.
According to Breger Stanton, another way to prevent injuries among avid gardeners is to find ways to alter their gardening routine. Simply changing a few motions while working in the yard can help to prevent the onset of repetitive stress injuries, blisters, tendonitis or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
The warm-up exercises and safety tips were developed by professional hand therapists who are occupational and physical therapists specializing in the treatment of the hands, arms and shoulders. These exercises and tips have been designed to supplement more commonly known gardening safety practices that concentrate only on preventing back injuries.
WHAT WE DO
In a private outpatient clinic, conveniently located in Saddle Brook, Bergen County, in northern NJ, patients receive certified hand therapy services for rehabilitation of injuries and disorders of the fingers, hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder. Our services include:
We are open weekdays and evenings; Saturdays and Sundays on an emergency basis. Splints can be fabricated on a same-day emergency basis if your doctor deems it medically necessary.
We can be reached by phone, fax, or email.
DO YOU NEED HAND THERAPY ?
HERE ARE SOME HINTS:
INJURY: Did you hurt your hand, wrist, or elbow? ● Have you undergone a surgery on your hand, wrist, or elbow?
DAILY ACTIVITIES: Do you experience burning, numbness/tingling, pain, or stiffness in your fingers or hand during activities or upon waking up ● Do you have painful cramps in your hand when cooking, cleaning, getting dressed, holding a book, or writing ● Do you drop or have trouble picking up items?
PAIN MANAGEMENT: Do you rely on medication to lessen hand, wrist, or elbow pain? ● Does pain prevent you from using your hand normally?
If you have experienced any of these problems or symptoms, we would advise you to see a hand surgeon, who may prescribe certified hand therapy. If you receive a prescription for hand therapy, and your surgeon would like you to be seen by a certified hand therapist,
please give us a call @ 201.820.4020 to schedule an appointment.