April 2, 2014
Health Insights Articles
Among flowers blooming and birds
singing, for many people the signs of spring include unearthing sporting
equipment that was packed away for winter. Golf and tennis are among the most
popular seasonal sports in our region, yet they also produce the most injuries
in patients who tax muscles and tendons that were left unused in the cold
Hospital’s Certified Hand Therapist Nikki DeMatteo can help. Anyone can
schedule an initial evaluation of the upper extremity (shoulder, elbow, wrist,
or hand) by calling (631) 726-8520. No prescription is required and the
evaluation is covered by most insurance.
In addition to treating injuries,
Ms. DeMatteo helps patients strengthen muscles to avoid injuries from their
favorite physical activities. “Many sports injuries can be prevented or
resolved if addressed early,” she says. “Unfortunately, many people wait until
the pain is unbearable.”
For pre-existing issues with the
upper extremity, patients should seek a prescription from their doctor for
extended treatment. Occupational Therapy (OT), which includes hand therapy,
focuses on task-oriented fine motor skills such as gripping a golf club or
tennis racquet. “Physical therapy is different because the focus is on whole
body movement such as running,” says Ms. DeMatteo.
An initial OT evaluation takes
about one hour. Patients typically receive a doctor’s prescription for 6-12
weeks of OT treatment up to 3 times per week. Each session lasts 30-60 minutes,
depending on the patient’s condition. Some patients benefit from orthotics that
can relieve pressure on a compressed nerve or alleviate pain from arthritis.
These pieces are custom fabricated by the OT team, right at Southampton
Visits and custom orthotics are covered by most insurance.
What are you waiting for?
Schedule your evaluation today! Don’t forget to check the Occupational Therapy page of our website and our Facebook page for upcoming video tips for golfers and
tennis players who want to get in shape for the season.