Hand Therapy Program

The Hand Therapy Program is staffed by experienced therapists, including certified hand therapists (CHT) who specialize in the treatment of hand and upper extremity injuries.

All UC San Diego Health certified hand therapists:

  • Have a minimum of five years of clinical experience, including 4,000 hours or more in direct practice in hand therapy
  • Have successfully passed a comprehensive test of advanced clinical skills and theory in upper quarter rehabilitation
  • Are required to demonstrate continued professional development and competency by rectifying every five years 

Conditions We Treat

Your therapist provides one-on-one treatment for a variety of hand and upper extremity injuries, including:

  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
  • Cumulative trauma disorders
  • Dislocations and sprains
  • Fractures of the hand, wrist, forearm and upper arm
  • Pulley ruptures (finger ligament tears from activities such as rock climbing)
  • Repetitive strain injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome and other nerve compressions
  • Tendonitis
  • Tendon and nerve lacerations
  • Various types of arthritis including rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, scleroderma and psoriatic arthritis


The goal of therapy is to address each individual's goals and needs, decrease/manage pain, diminish deficits due to injury/condition and promote healing and return the individual to an optimal functional status.

A holistic approach to evaluation and assessment of each individual's condition and needs will result in a customized treatment approach and plan. Therapists work closely with the referring physician to ensure continuity of care.

The personalized therapy program may consist of custom fabricated orthotics to promote healing and /or functional use of the hand, manual therapy techniques, modalities, exercises, instruction in adaptive equipment, time management, joint protection techniques.

The therapy program may also consist of instruction in ergonomics which may include proper computer setup (such as proper posture and positioning of the individual with respect to the workstation, keying techniques, and use of various types of pointing devices).