Tidewater Physical Therapy Promotes Gardening Safety in Honor of Hand Therapy Week

Tidewater Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Associates, P.A. announces that June 5 through 11 is Hand Therapy week.

The American Society of Hand Therapy established Hand Therapy Week in order to raise awareness of the hand therapy specialty among various audiences, including primary care providers, surgeons, referral sources and the public.

Hand therapy involves evaluating and treating injuries and conditions within the shoulder, arm, elbow, forearm, wrist, and hand. Hand therapists are licensed or registered occupational therapists (OT) or physical therapists (PT) who specialize in treating individuals with conditions affecting these areas. Hand therapists carry the title of Certified Hand Therapist or CHT.

In honor of Hand Therapy week, the Certified Hand Therapists (CHTs) of Tidewater Physical Therapy would like to share some tips to prevent hand injury during this gardening season.

Hand injuries such as repetitive stress injuries, tendonitis and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) can all occur from gardening. In addition, simple scrapes, blisters, and bites can turn into serious problems if not treated appropriately. While gardening is an enjoyable and relaxing activity for most, it can become dangerous in certain conditions.

Certified Hand Therapist and Clinical Director of Tidewater Physical Therapy’s Salisbury clinic, Jennifer S. Hamilton, DPT, CHT, recommends, “As the weather warms up, it is exciting to get outside and work in the yard or garden.  Remember the importance of listening to your body as you go about those tasks.  If you start to feel any pain or soreness in your hands and arms, take a break.  It may be beneficial to perform some stretching exercises that your therapist has given you.  Make your daily gardening goals realistic – don’t expect to be able to complete your entire yard in a day – instead plan to spread the work out over several days in order to prevent pain and overuse.”

Certified Hand Therapist and Clinical Director of Tidewater Physical Therapy’s Seaford clinic, Craig L. Joachimowski, PT, OCS, CHT, guides, “When performing yard work garden tools may make certain tasks easier. Tools should be light enough to handle with ease and the handles should fit in your hand comfortably.  Remember to use the bigger muscles in your shoulders and arms rather than the putting stress on the smaller joints of the hands. Make sure to wear gloves that fit well, particularly when working in brush or with plants that are sharp or have thorns. Preventing cuts and scratches is very important to all but especially to those with diabetes.

Certified Hand Therapist and Clinical Director of Tidewater Physical Therapy’s Ocean Pines clinic, William Hamilton, Jr., DPT, CHT, advises, “A helpful tip that I like to share with my patients who enjoy gardening is to stretch before you start. A stretch called the, “Prayer,” stretch is a great one to do beforehand. More importantly, you should ensure that you are using both hands equally to prevent overuse of the dominant hand. Also, taking breaks every 30 minutes to shake your hands out and restore normal blood flow will help prevent injury.”

Tidewater Physical Therapy would like to ensure the safety of everyone this gardening season. Next time you pick up a trowel or rake, keep these tips in mind.


About Tidewater Physical Therapy

Tidewater Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Associates, PA was founded in 1984 under the guidance of Dr. W. James Downs, Jr., PT, DSc, ECS. Downs founded the firm in response to local physicians seeking progressive physical therapy services for patients on the Delmarva Peninsula. Since its foundation, Tidewater Physical Therapy has expanded to 16 locally managed offices. Therapists have continued to increase their certifications and knowledge in many specialty areas to provide for their ever-growing patient population. Tidewater Physical Therapy is now the most widely recognized, highly accredited physical therapy firm on Delmarva, setting the standard for exceptional care in a comfortable, friendly and community-oriented setting. In addition, Tidewater Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Associates is a certified Medicare Rehabilitation Agency, meaning our organization willingly accepts a stringent set of guidelines in which to operate, including annual inspections. For more information about Tidewater Physical Therapy, visit www.tidewaterpt.com or call 410.822.3891.




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