Specializing in Hand & Shoulder Therapy



Certified Hand Therapy

Therapy by a Certified Hand Therapist goes beyond hands. CHTs have the clinical expertise to effectively manage injuries and medical conditions of the upper extremity.

CHT treatment may include:

  • Wound/scar care
  • Management of acute or chronic pain
  • Splint fabrication for prevention or correction of injury
  • Sensory re-education or desensitization following a nerve injury
  • Designing exercise programs to improve function, strength, and endurance                                                        to promptly return patients to their normal activities of daily living and work comp patients back to work

THRCF therapists are constantly attending continuing education seminars to widen their knowledge of upper extremity injuries and the appropriate treatment techniques. Common diagnoses managed and treated by THRCF CHTs include:

  • Wounds and Scars
  • Joint Contractures
  • Amputations
  • Nerve Compressions
  • Arthritis
  • Nerve Injuries
  • Burns
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries
  • Fractures and Dislocations
  • Shoulder Impingement Syndrome
  • Pain syndromes
  • Tendonitis
  • Sprains and Strains
  • Tendon Injuries
  • Infections

What is a Certified Hand Therapist (CHT)?
CHT distinguishes an Occupational or Physical Therapist as someone with the highest professional credential in the specialty of upper extremity treatment and rehabilitation. A Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) has achieved the highest level of competency in hand therapy. Jennifer Castelli has been an Occupational Therapist since 1992 but has held CHT certification since 2000 and is a well-known hand specialist in Central Florida. Our other OTR/L, CHT's are Judith Johnson (OT since 1968 & CHT certified since 1991) and Melanie Richter (OT since 1975 & CHT certified since 2001).

A CHT is required to have at least 5 years of clinical experience, including 4000 hours or more in direct practice in hand therapy. In addition, the CHT must successfully pass a comprehensive test of advanced knowledge and clinical skills in all areas of the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder. CHTs remain current in the profession by re-certifying every 5 years.

The intricate anatomy of the shoulder, arm and hand frequently requires very delicate surgery. The technical complexity of this kind of surgery necessitates a high level of competence during post-operative recovery by therapists with advanced skills in upper extremity treatment and rehabilitation. Our therapists are knowledgeable about these advanced surgical techniques and the surgeons' preference and priorities regarding post-operative treatment protocols.