Project Description



BAXTER 218.824.5027
CROSSLAKE 218.692.5020
PIERZ 320.468.0183
PINE RIVER 218.587.5022


What is a Certified Hand Therapist (CHT)?

A certified hand therapist (CHT) is an occupational therapist who has advanced training in the treatment of conditions affecting the arm and hand. To utilize the CHT credential:

  • The OT must practice for a minimum of three years
  • 4,000 hours of which must be directly treating upper extremity disorders

  • Must pass a rigorous certification exam to demonstrate their competency

To learn more about hand therapy, visit

What Can a Hand Therapist Do for Me?

Hand therapists address conditions that result from:

  • Trauma

  • Repetitive use

  • Birth (before, during, or after)

  • Acquired deformity

  • Disease processes

They provide non-operative interventions, preventative care, and post-surgical rehabilitation for both common and unique upper extremity disorders. This can range from simple carpal tunnel releases to complex replanted extremities and tendon or nerve transfers.

Check out our Elbow, Wrist, and Hand link for further details.

Who would benefit from seeing a Hand Therapist?

Patients with a very recent injury (such as fractures, tendon or nerve lacerations/ruptures, muscle or tendon inflammation), chronic conditions (such as arthritis or deformity) or neurologic conditions (such as a stroke or a nerve transfer) can benefit from hand therapy. A hand therapist employs various interventions including:

  • Neurological interventions to desensitize and normalize the nervous system

  • Activity modification and exercise programs

  • Custom orthosis fabrication (“splints”)

  • Pain and swelling reduction

  • Use of modalities (i.e. iontophoresis, ultrasound, electrical stimulation…etc.)

  • Specialized taping

  • Ergonomics for home or work/school

  • Joint and tendon protection

  • Energy conservation strategies

  • Adaptive equipment training

Where can I find a Hand Therapist?

Sara Carlson, MS, OTR/L, CHT began practicing as an Occupational Therapist in February 2004. Most of her working career has been in the rehabilitation of the arm and hand. Sara earned the privilege to use the CHT credential in May 2016.

Sara is also credentialed with Work Well to perform Functional Capacity Evaluations, Pre-Work Screens, and create Functional Job Descriptions.

Sara works at Select Therapy in Baxter. Please contact Select Therapy at (218) 824-5027 to schedule an appointment with her.