Upper extremity therapy can give a person back their independence and ability to work or look after themselves in many ways that they may have been unable to prior to the therapy. This makes it a very important component of any overall physical therapy program for someone who has suffered from loss of motion in the upper body.
Many of the day to day tasks that are required for personal care or work require fine motor control and precise use of the hand and upper extremities. If damage has occurred it can take time and therapy to rebuild these types of movements. Universal Home Care clinicians can work with a patient to help them develop the control that they need over their extremities to resume a normal life.
Universal Home Care clinicians will work with patients on exercises and rehabilitation drills that will help them to regain function and coordination in their upper limbs. They will also coach and educate caregivers about the exercises and challenges that may face the patient as they continue through the rehabilitative process.
The nature of the work will change depending on the cause of the loss of function. Those who have lost function in their limb due to brain injury or stroke will work on exercises that will focus on rebuilding those connections that will allow them to operate their extremities properly. Those who have suffered trauma or injury may have to focus more on building up muscle and strength, and increasing range of motion in the arms, hands and fingers before they can move on to mastering motor controls.
Part of upper extremity therapy will also include asking the patient to become responsible for more tasks independently as their therapy progresses. Patients need to balance carefully between challenging themselves enough while not being over-burdened and this is a balance that Universal Home Care clinicians can assist them in finding.