Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists are registered and certified healthcare professionals who apply principles from the biological and behavioral sciences in the evaluation and treatment of individuals limited by physical or psycho-social injury or illness.

Occupational therapists utilize everyday life activities, like bathing or dressing or cooking to help those with disabilities lead independent, productive and satisfying lives. Occupational therapists also address issues related to restoring gross and fine motor function and coordination, primarily of the upper extremity.

Sentara RMH Occupational Therapy provides inpatient and outpatient services for individuals with decreased functional ability due to physical illness or injury. Individualized treatment and home programs are designed to maximize independence in self-care, work and functional activities. Hand therapy is a specialized program in the outpatient Occupational Therapy program.

Conditions that may require occupational therapy include:

  • Hand and upper extremity injuries and surgeries
  • Tendonitis
  • Nerve compression syndromes
  • Arthritis
  • Repetitive motion/cumulative trauma injuries
  • Pregnancy (i.e. carpal tunnel syndrome, extremity edema)
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Cancer
  • Lymphedema (upper and lower extremities)
  • Stroke and other neuromuscular disorders
  • Upper and lower extremity joint replacement

Individual treatment programs consist of a variety of techniques and modalities. Key services include:

  • Hand and upper extremity rehabilitation
  • Splinting (custom/commercial)
  • Scar Management
  • Edema control (including custom garments)
  • Therapeutic exercise to improve upper extremity mobility/strength
  • Work simplification and energy conservation training (especially with arthritis)
  • Training to increase functional levels of activities of daily living
  • Adaptive equipment fitting and training
  • Lymphedema therapy
  • Work injury rehabilitation/work conditioning exercises
  • Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE)
  • Job site analysis
  • Work injury prevention and education