About Us

Why Choose Us

 

At Abilities Hand Rehabilitation, we don’t think you should put up with pain or loss of function for one more minute. Your doctor agrees. That’s why you’ve been referred to us for effective one-on-one occupational and hand therapy, including:

Orthopedic rehabilitation • Edema control • Work conditioning • Dexterity training • Prosthetic training • Wound management • Scar management • Postsurgical rehabilitation • Strengthening exercises • Sensory re-education • Pain control • Sports injuries • Neurologic disorders • Shoulder, elbow & wrist injuries • Splinting & kinesiotaping • Fractures & dislocations • Peripheral nerve injuries • Repetitive-use disorders • Carpal tunnel syndrome • Soft-tissue trauma • Amputations • Crush injuries • Contracture• Arthritis & tendonitis • Dysfunction of the shoulder, elbow, wrist & hand

EFFECTIVE SOLUTIONS FOR UPPER EXTREMITY PROBLEMS

Hand therapy is actually about more than just hands. It's the art and science of rehabilitation for the entire upper extremity - including shoulder, arm, elbow wrist and hand. As certified hand therapists (CHT's), we combine comprehensive knowledge of this anatomy with advanced skill in the assessment and treatment of dysfunction. We know how to restore function. We work closely with your doctor to provide the most effective upper extremity care available. That's why doctors choose us for patients who need hand therapy.

See the Difference

When you are injured or suffering from a debilitating hand or upper extremity condition, you need to best possible rehabilitative care you can count on. That's Abilities Hand Rehab & Therapy. Here we assess your needs and the unique aspects of your condition. Then we develop a rehab program that fits you - and only you - exactly. With that in mind, we offer:

*Arthritis & tendonitis programs

*Hand & wrist injury programs

*Shoulder & elbow programs

*Sports injury programs

*Work injury programs

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Our Services

Arthritis & Tendonitis

Arthritis and Tendonitis in the Upper Extremities

Arthritis is a disorder characterized by joint inflammation.  There are actually over one hundred forms of arthritis, though the most common are those related to wear and tear of cartilage (osteoarthritis) and those associated with inflammation resulting from a dysfunctional immune system (rheumatoid arthritis).

 Some 30 million to 40 million Americans are affected by arthritis, including over 300,000 children!  More than 27 million Americans have osteoarthritis.  Approximately 1.3 million Americans suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.  More than half of those with arthritis are under 65 years of age.  And nearly 60% of Americans with arthritis are women.

There is no single treatment that applies to everyone with arthritis.  Most doctors will develop a management plan designed to minimize your specific pain and improve the function of your joints.  Some people with arthritis in the shoulders or fingers will require surgical joint replacement.  We can help them with postsurgical therapy to promote healing and minimize pain.

 Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are chronic diseases that may last a lifetime.  Chronic pain is distressing because it affects the sufferer on many levels.  Learning how to manage your pain over the long term is an important factor in controlling the disease and maintaining a good quality of life.

 Osteoarthritis suffers-whose fingers, hands, wrists, elbows and shoulders may be severely affected-often benefit from regular, moderate therapeutic exercise.  It reduces joint pain and stiffness by increasing fluidity around the joints, builds stronger muscle to support the joints and increases flexibility and endurance.  Soft-tissue massage techniques can also help those with arthritis by improving circulation in affected joints.

Another common “itis” is tendonitis.  

 Wrist tendonitis, or tenosynovitis, is a common condition characterized by irritation and inflammation of any of the many tendons around the wrist joint.  Wrist tendonitis usually affects one tendon by may also involve more.  When wrist tendonitis becomes a problem, the tendon sheath, or tenosynovium, becomes thickened and constricts the gliding motion of the tendons.  Another common form is elbow tendonitis, or tennis elbow.

 At Abilities Hand Rehabilitation, our delivery of care is characterized by our ability to make each patient feel comfortable and involved in rehabilitation.  This, combined with our commitment to excellent treatment, can help patients successfully transition back to normal daily activities, work, sports and hobbies.

 There are many ways for people to strain or sprain some part of the upper extremity.  We treat all upper extremity injuries, and we strive for the best results possible.  For more information on arthritis and tendonitis therapy or to refer a patient, call Abilities Hand Rehabilitation today.

Sprains and Strains

 Upper Extremity sprains and strains.

Imagine what it would be like to lose the use of your wrists and hands, and you will understand how your entire life could change.  It only takes a moment to sprain or strain your hand, wrist, elbow or shoulder…but the rehabilitation process can take weeks or months.  This is where a certified hand therapist can really help.

It takes someone special to become a certified hand therapist, or CHT.  You must have a minimum of five years of clinical experience as a physical or occupational therapist and more than 2,000 hours of hand therapy practice to achieve certification.  With the certification’s rigorous requirements and testing and commitment of time, energy and desire to help, it is no wonder that there are only a relatively small number of CHTs around the nation.

Our staff CHTs offer advances hand therapy for patients whose hands and wrists have been affected by injury or illness, such as:

*Arthritis (osteo & rheumatoid) *Amputation * Fracture *Joint problems/replacement * Ligament injuries * Pain-related disorders * Carpal tunnel syndrome * Cumulative-trauma disorders * Soft-tissue injuries *Injuries to the flexor & extensor tendons * Nerve disorders *Postsurgical care * Nerve injuries * Dislocations * Crush injuries * Repetitive-motion injuries * Edema *Carpal tunnel syndrome * RSD, or reflex sympathetic dystrophy *Dupuytren’s contracture * Trigger finger * tennis/golfer’s elbow

Our CHTs have expert knowledge of the hands, wrist and upper body, including the shoulder and arms, as well as the types of surgical interventions that require comprehensive postoperative care.  Our specialized hand treatment program helps reduce swelling (edema) and pain and improve movement, strength and function.

 We’ve seen just about every type of strain and sprain possible.  And we’ve helped thousands of people overcome the pain and discomfort of tendonitis.

Our treatments include electrical and thermal modalities, custom splinting, ergonomics training, special exercises, myofascial release and other manual therapy protocols and wound/scar management.  We also provide your doctor with regular progress reports.

At Abilities Hand rehabilitation, our delivery of care is characterized by our ability to make each patient feel comfortable and involved in rehabilitation.  This, combined with our commitment to excellent treatment, can help patients successfully transition back to normal daily activities, work, sports and hobbies.

There are many ways for people to strain or sprain some part of the upper extremity.  We treat all upper extremity injuries, and we strive for the best results possible.  To learn more about how we can help, please call us at 419-627-2526.

Pain Care

 Shoulder, elbow and wrist pain care.

When you have pain and immobility in the shoulder, elbow or wrist, you need help regaining freedom of movement and freedom from pain.  This is where Abilities Hand Rehabilitation can help.  We can restore activity, strength and motion to your life.

As occupational and hand therapists with several decades of combined experience, we use comprehensive hands-on techniques and proven modalities to treat shoulder, elbow and wrist pain caused by injury, overuse and other conditions.  By combining experienced care with a one-on-one patient focus, we can help achieve better results for you.

We will thoroughly evaluate your health and pain history.  This evaluation gives us an understanding of how the pain evolved (you may have had a traumatic injury, a gradual injury or one that just appeared “out of the blue”), what positions make the pain better or worse and what types of daily activities you perform that may contribute to your pain.

After we complete this evaluation, we will check your range of motion, flexibility, strength, sensation, posture and other points that may affect your pain experience…and then create a customized treatment program based on our findings.

Shoulder pain conditions- Commons causes of shoulder pain include rotator cuff injuries (common in adults over 50), impingement, muscle tears, inflammation or the bursa (bursitis), frozen shoulder, joint instability, tendonitis and arthritis.

Elbow pain conditions- Common elbow conditions include golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis, tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, olecranon bursitis and cubital tunnel syndrome (very similar to carpal tunnel syndrome except that a different nerve is compressed, causing slightly different symptoms).  These conditions can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness.  Olecranon bursitis is a common cause of swelling and inflammation around the elbow joint.

Wrist pain conditions- The wrist is also subject to trauma, repetitive-stress injuries and other conditions.  Perhaps the best known of these is carpal tunnel syndrome, an overuse condition that pinches a nerve in the wrist and causes pain.  Other causes of wrist pain include tendonitis, fracture, dislocation, sprain, ganglion cyst and arthritis.

Because no two patients are the same, the specific pain/injury treatment program for each patient may use one, tow, or several therapies and/or modalities to help relieve the pain and add flexibility and movement to the patient’s life.  We may use special exercises, stretching exercises, special splinting for support or any number of manual therapies such as soft-tissue mobilization.

At Abilities Hand Rehabilitation, our delivery of care is characterized by our ability to make each patient feel comfortable and involved in rehabilitation.  This, combines with our commitment to excellent treatment, can help patients successfully transition back to normal daily activities, work, sports and hobbies.

There are many ways for people to injure their shoulders, elbows and wrists.  We treat all upper extremity injuries, and we strive for the best results possible with evidence-based therapies.  For more information or to refer a patient with an upper extremity problem, call Abilities Hand Rehabilitation today at 419-627-2526.

Our Team

Rita Dodd, OTR/L, CHT
Occupational Therapist / Certified Hand Therapist


"I went into this field to

Rita Dodd, OTR/L, CHT Occupational Therapist / Certified Hand Therapist

"I went into this field to help people overcome injury and dysfunction and get back to work and play without pain. I am fascinated by the intricacies of the complex human hand and upper extremities. I enjoy anatomy, splinting and instructing patients on how to help themselves get better. Most people think hand therapists only work with hands. In reality, we focus on the entire upper extremity from the shoulder down the arm to the fingertips. We also increase patients' ability to function independently while recovering from an injured upper extremity."

"Patients say I am friendly, positive and supportive. I also believe in the value of patient education and constant communication with patients and referring physicians. Being a good therapist means being able to think outside the box and be creative with treatments and splinting. My main goal is to help each patient heal and return to their usual activities, including work, sports and hobbies."  

Amy McLelland, OTR/L, CHT
Occupational Therapist / Certified Hand Therapist

Amy McLelland, OTR/L, CHT Occupational Therapist / Certified Hand Therapist

 “I was always interested in occupational therapy, particularly orthopedics and the upper extremities. So I pursued studies in hand therapy. The hand and upper extremity are so complex and intricate that I enjoyed learning about the anatomy and different diagnoses. We are constantly in a learning process and continually altering our treatment plans to provide the most current and best patient care available. I like to provide a relaxed, fun, friendly atmosphere where my patients are motivated and enthusiastic about their rehabilitation. I also believe in one-on-one care and educating patients thoroughly about their conditions and treatments.”

 

Megan Beckett, OTR/L Occupational Therapist


Bio coming soon 

Contact Us

Send Message

Please contact us directly with any questions, comments, or scheduling inquiries you may have.

Feel free to fax any documents to (419) 627-4263

Abilities Hand Rehab & Therapy

2419 E. Perkins Ave, Suite E, Sandusky, OH 44870

(419) 627-2526

Hours

Monday - Thursday: 8:30am - 6pm

Friday: 8:30am - 3pm

Saturday - Sunday: Closed