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.
HAND CARE TIPS
Your hands are constantly in motion. Everyday activities such as preparing meals, carrying grocery bags or using your computer can damage your hands over time. Joint protection techniques can help reduce pain, stress, and inflammation of your joints. These techniques can also help prevent any existing deformities from progressing and increase your independence in daily activities. There are many easy and inexpensive ways to protect your hands. Here are a few tips to keep your hands healthy:
Give your hands a break:
If you have pain during an activity, stop the activity. Pain is one of the best ways your body has of letting you know that you are causing tissue damage, so listen to and respect your pain.
Protect the small joints of your hands, and avoid carrying several plastic grocery bags at once to save time. Use paper bags, carry them one at a time, and hold them at the bottom instead of using the handles.
If writing is painful, try using a thick, rubber grip pen with a gel tip or roller ball to decrease the amount of pressure needed to write.
Remember to stretch and take rest breaks every 15 minutes during repetitive or prolonged activities such as needlework, painting, sewing, knitting, hammering, and cleaning.
Figure out which activities aggravate your symptoms and avoid or modify them; don’t be afraid to ask others for help.
Use pump shampoos and toothpaste. Use the palm of your hand to pump instead of squeezing the container.
Don’t use your hand as a tool!
Don’t tear your mail open - use a letter opener to open the mail.
Use utility scissors in the kitchen - do not rip open bags.
Always use the right tool for the job - use pliers for tight pinch and a small hammer for pounding.
Use a staple remover instead of your fingers and thumb.
Get rid of your manual can opener - go electric! Manual can openers place excessive strain on your hands.
Instead of holding open books or magazines with one hand - use a bookstand or holder to bring the book to eye level and a book clip or chip clip to avoid prolonged gripping.
Use Adaptive Equipment to Decrease Stress on your Joints:
Use devices to hold objects, e.g. a vice, a cutting board with picks to hold food, etc.
Use foam to enlarge small diameter objects such as paring knives, cutlery, toothbrushes, paintbrushes, pens, and pencils.
Purchase lightweight kitchen, gardening and workshop tools with built-in handles.
Use a non-slip jar opener – opening jars places undue stress on your joints.
If you have pain when using keys to open doors, consider adding a key extender to your keys.
If you have difficulty turning doorknobs or faucets, purchase doorknob or water faucet handle extenders.
Consider a cardholder if you play cards for extended periods of time.
Perform a search on the Internet for “adaptive equipment” to see what products are available.
If you have already tried these techniques but are still experiencing symptoms, it may be time to consider other treatment options such as hand therapy. Certified Hand Therapists are either occupational or physical therapists with specialized training in the treatment of hand and upper extremity conditions. If you believe your condition is more serious and feel you would benefit from hand therapy, contact your physician and request a prescription.
Love your hands
Your hands work hard for you, so treat them with love. No matter what you’re doing, take a second to think about your hands. Your hands will thank you for it.
Feel free to contact Sally Gillenson, MBA, MS, OTR, CHT with any questions. HandWorks, 299 Market St. Suite 150 Saddle Brook, NJ 07763 201.820.4020
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.