What is Occupational Therapy?

What is important to you, what matters? That is the greatest goal of an Occupational Therapist at Sports Specialty and Rehab Centers. When people hear the word Occupation, they believe it must be a therapist who helps individuals to get back to work. This is only one aspect of Occupational Therapy. Occupation is any and all activities that are a part of our everyday lives, including self-care, home maintenance, school, play and recreational activities. When injuries, disease and/or trauma interrupt a person’s ability to perform these activities, an Occupational Therapist performs an individualized evaluation to determine the person’s goals with these activities of daily life. The therapist will assess the problem areas affecting the performance of these activities and the solutions necessary to achieve success in returning to a life of value to that person.

At Sports Specialty and Rehab Center, the Occupational Therapy Department has a toolbox of treatments to facilitate the therapists in providing a pathway of recovery and rehabilitation to our clients. These tools include soft tissue modalities such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, ETPS, paraffin, hot/cold packs, orthotics, and custom splinting; as well as equipment for improving both fine and gross motor control, strength, flexibility and endurance. Manual therapy techniques such as soft and deep tissue massage, cross-friction, myofascial release, joint mobilization and controlled stretching are also integrated into the treatment of our clients. We are a team of highly skilled and knowledgeable Occupational Therapy professionals and are led by a Certified Hand Specialist with over 15 years of experience.


The Hand Therapy Department specializes in the evaluation and treatment of conditions affecting the upper extremity (shoulder, arm, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand). The hand therapist works closely with area hand surgeons, orthopedic and plastic surgeons, and provides unique treatment options including custom splinting to help return a person to their highest possible level of function. Hand and upper extremity injuries can be very complex and difficult to heal. The Hand Therapy Department at Sports Specialty and Rehab is comprised of a certified hand therapist and other therapists who are proficient at treatment of pathological upper extremity conditions resulting from trauma, disease, congenital or acquired deformities, through advanced continuing education and clinical experience. A hand therapist may achieve advanced certification as a Certified Hand Therapist (CHT). To obtain the CHT credential, a therapist must practice for a minimum of five years, accumulating at least 4,000 hours of treatment for hand and upper extremity disorders and pass a rigorous certification exam to demonstrate their competency in the practice.

Specialized Services include:

  • Fabrication of custom dynamic and static hand and arm splints
  • Conservative and post-operative management of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, DeQuervains and Trigger Finger
  • Cumulative Trauma disorders
  • Lateral and Medial Epicondylitis (tennis and golfers elbow)
  • Sprains/Strains of the upper extremity
  • Arthritis management and instruction in joint protection and energy conservation
  • Wound and burn care
  • Fractures of the arm and hand
  • Tendon/Nerve repairs and reconstructions
  • Joint replacements
  • Hand replants


Custom splints are categorized as either static or dynamic. Static splinting does not have any moving parts and is often necessary to protect and rest an area of the hand and or upper extremity following repetitive strain, sprain, trauma and surgery. Dynamic splints have moving parts and may be fabricated with rubber bands, hooks and monofilaments. The goal of a dynamic splint is to achieve an increased range of motion in stiff, contracted joints or provide guided limited motion in the rehabilitation of complicated tendon repairs and joint replacements of the hand and upper extremity. “Off the shelf” splints often do not fit well, or accommodate the special needs of the individual thereby requiring a skilled hand therapist to create a custom fit splint. At Sports Specialty and Rehab, the hand therapist utilizes knowledge in the latest research and has special education and experience in custom splinting to provide optimal outcomes.

For referrals and appointments, give your local Sports Specialty and Rehabilitation Center a call. You can reach us at 239-574-7557 (Cape Coral), 239-368-7744 (Lehigh Acres), or 239-561-0700 (Fort Myers). If you would rather send written correspondence prior to talking to our knowledgeable staff, you can e-mail us at info@SportsSpecialty.com.

If you have questions about our Occupational Therapy programs, or you would like to learn more about our rehabilitation center and staff prior to your appointment, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We have appointments available from 7am to 6pm Monday through Friday.