Hand Therapy FAQ


What is Hand Therapy? 

  • Hand Therapy is specialized treatment and rehabilitation from elbow to finger-tip. Common conditions include: 
    • Hand & wrist arthritis
    • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
    • Tennis Elbow & Golfer's Elbow
    • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
    • De Quervain's Tenosynovitis
    • Fractures & crush injuries
    • Sprains & strains
    • Amputations
    • Shoulder impingement & frozen shoulder
    • Rotator cuff tears
    • Dislocations
    • Tendon & nerve repair
    • Ligament injuries
    • Trigger Finger
    • ... and many more!
  • At Lone Peak, we provide the highest level of specialized care. If pain in your upper limbs is limiting your ability to perform in sports, at work, or in daily activities, our Certified Hand Therapy services can get you back to an active and functional lifestyle.

What is so special about a CHT?

  • In order to hold this certification, a Certified Hand Specialist (CHT) must pass a certification exam that demonstrates advanced clinical knowledge, experience, and skills in the practice of hand and upper extremity rehabilitation.
  • In order to sit for the examination, the provider must already have a minimum of 3 years experience and over 4,000 direct treatment hours.
  • With an overall pass rate of 60%, the CHT examination allows only the best of the best providers to advance and earn this expert level certification, making them hard to find. At Lone Peak, we are proud to have 5 CHT's on staff in our Belgrade, Bozeman, Butte and Billings - West End clinics. 
  • We value our relationships with hand surgeons at a high level, and receive referrals from cities all over Montana and as far as New York, Chicago, and Atlanta.

What can I expect during a Hand Therapy session?

  • One on one specialized treatment with a licensed therapist who understands the complex nature of the hand and upper extremity, who is going to adapt each treatment session to your individual goals to return each individual to what they enjoy. 

What is the most common injury or ailment treated by a CHT?

  • Arthritis!
    • The aches and pains from overuse and repetitive motions of the wrist and thumb especially. Don't let pain or a diagnosis stop you from doing what you love, come see us today!
  • CHTs are well equipped to help alleviate and address the pain associated with arthritis in the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder. Not only through direct treatment methods, but also via custom splinting, depending on the situation.

Do I have to wait until after surgery to see a CHT? 

  • This is a common misconception, and although every surgeon’s preference varies on this, research suggests early intervention is directly related to better functional outcomes.
  • In some cases it is ideal to be seen by your therapist as early as the same day of surgery, believe it or not. 
  • Questions about your surgery or your surgeon and what to expect before and after surgery? Call or text us today to speak to an expert and learn more.

CHT's only treat "the hand"? 

  • Nope! Unfortunately the certification and title should really be Certified "Upper Extremity" Therapist, because that’s what a CHT is. CHT's have significant education, experience, and expertise in treating cervical, shoulder, arm, elbow, wrist, forearm injuries too!

What is the difference between a store-bought splint and a custom made split?

  • A store-bought or “off-the-shelf” splint is made of thick, heavy material and often does not provide the support you need to have a full resolution of symptoms or healing.
  • Our custom-made splint fabrications are made of an extremely light weight, and breathable material. We take the time to make sure your splint fits you perfectly, performs properly and resolves all of the symptoms you are having.
  • Most custom splinting is covered by insurance, our front office staff will verify your exact benefits prior to any type of fabrication so that you know exactly what to expect.
  • To learn more, visit our Custom Split Fabrication page. 

How soon can I see a CHT? 

  • At Lone Peak, we strive to get you seen same day or next day. We recognize the importance of early mobility post surgery, as well as the sense of urgency you may be feeling to address pain, weakness, and stiffness of your elbow, wrist, hand or fingers.

Is Hand Therapy covered by insurance? Do I need a referral from my doctor? 

  • All of our Certified Hand Therapy providers accept insurance, as well as our Self Pay Options.
  • We do not require a script for you to come see us!
    • However, if you have a VA, Medicare and Medicaid we do need a referral prior to your first appointment in order to bill these specific insurance plans.


You're in the right hands, contact us today to schedule!





CONTENT CREATED BY: Allie Poalino, DPT, Trent Gahl, OTD, CHT, Will Martin, OTR/L, CHT 

Photo Credit: Allie Brooke

Lone Peak Physical Therapy