Upper extremity disability can result in disruption of many if not all activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living. Occupational therapy professionals receive a strong educational component in psycho-social development and pathology. This provides the basis for understanding the impact of upper extremity dysfunction on key daily activities and roles.
The following are examples of conditions and injuries of the upper extremity (e.g., hand, wrist, elbow, multiple joints) that are treated by occupational therapy practitioners.
- Arthritis and rheumatic diseases.
- Congenital anomalies.
- Crush injuries or trauma.
- Cumulative trauma.
- Dislocations and subluxations.
- Ligament injury and instability.
- Muscle strains, tears and avulsions.
- Tendon injuries and conditions (e.g., lacerations, tendonitis, ruptures).
- Nerve injuries and conditions (e.g., neuropathies, palsies, nerve repair).
- Pain (e.g., complex regional pain syndrome, fibromyalgia).
- Wounds and scars.
- Thermal and electrical injuries.
- Neuromuscular pathologies.