Giving pain the finger
May 22, 2019
BY MADELINE LINK
HANDY new therapy is on offer at Tamara Private Hospital for those with phalanges problems.
Physiotherapist Emma Sonerson has worked to upskill herself in hand therapy, and is the only person to offer the rehabilitation methods privately in Tamworth.
"A lot of people go out of town for surgery now and once they've had that and come back there's nowhere to go for their rehabilitation," she said.
"There are 26 bones in the hand alone, there's a lot of joints associated with those so it's quite a complex body part to treat.
"I saw a gap in the market and wanted to specialise in something, I was keen to learn something new and further my education so when this opportunity came up I took it."
Ms Sonerson has a sports and exercise science degree with a master in physiotherapy, she's worked at Tamara Private Hospital for the past three years.
Hand therapy involves rehabilitation of not only the hand, but the wrist, elbow and shoulder.
As use of technology and hand-held smart phones becomes more common, repetitive strain injuries are being seen more often in younger patients.
The courses Ms Sonerson has done in Brisbane and Sydney mean she can now make splints and braces for people experiencing hand pain.
"We treat people who might have pain in their hand but aren't too sure where it's coming from," she said.
"It's rehabilitation, assessment and treatment of hand injuries and problems.
"That can be simple, common conditions like carpal tunnel, osteoarthritis and post-surgery needs."
A lot of physiotherapists have general knowledge about hand rehabilitation but more study is needed for them to call themselves specialists in a certain area.
In Ms Sonerson's case, people experiencing hand pain canmake appointments direct, rather than with a referral from the GP.
"I'll need to do some more courses and hours of clinical work, that's something I'm working towards that will take two or three years," she said.
With permission from Northern Daily Leader, Tamworth