Hand Therapists at New England Hand Associates
New England Hand Associates is excited to offer on-site occupational hand therapy services for our patients. Hand therapy encompasses rehabilitation for the entire upper extremity – from your fingertips to your shoulders.
At New England Hand Associates, we are fully staffed with occupational therapists having advanced training in hand and upper extremity rehabilitation. To obtain the credential of certified hand therapist (CHT), a therapist must have a minimum of 5 years clinical practice, have performed over 4,000 hours of direct training, and have passed a comprehensive certification examination. In addition, therapists must recertify every 5 years – including 80 hours of continuing education in current hand therapy practice and current clinical research. Using their expertise in assessing and treating hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder injuries, our hand therapists help their patients regain function and the ability to perform their daily activities.
The CHT credential reflects the highest level of competency in the field. Each of our hand therapists has at least 10 years of experience and advanced knowledge and skill in splinting and orthotic fabrication. Our close-knit office ensures great communication between your surgeon and therapist to develop the best plan of care for you. Our hand therapy team works closely with your doctor to develop a personalized treatment plan based on your unique situation at work or at home. This may include splinting, modalities, and therapeutic exercises to improve and optimize function. Patient education – including activity modification and joint protection – is also a major focus of our therapists’ treatment efforts.
When appropriate, our surgeons will refer you to hand therapy for custom fabrication of an orthosis or splint on the same day as your office visit – particularly if protection is needed for an acute injury or fracture. Other times, your appointment will be scheduled to coincide with your surgery. Depending on your needs, you may receive a full evaluation, in which your therapist will carefully examine all issues you are having with your hand, wrist, elbow, or shoulder. Our therapists use several different modalities, including heat, ultrasound, or electrical stimulation to help increase motion or to decrease pain. Depending on your needs, home exercises are often given to aid in the healing process.
We have three certified hand therapists available to treat you:
Kara L. LeSiege, OTR/L, CHT
Kara LeSiege received her Master of Science degree at Boston University and became a licensed and registered Occupational Therapist in 1997. She has 20 years of experience and became a Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) in 2011. In addition to treating the hand and elbow, Kara specializes in the treatment of upper extremity, including advanced dynamic and static splinting, wound care, manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, and patient education. Kara also received a Master’s of Violin Performance at New England Conservatory in 1994. She performed research and wrote publications on Medical Problems of Performing Artists and has a special interest in working with musicians. Kara is a member of the Hand Therapy Certification Commission (HTCC), National Board Certification of Occupational Therapists (NBCOT) and American Society of Hand Therapy (ASHT).
Natalie M. Helwing, OTR/L, CHT
Natalie Maguire received her Master of Science degree at Tufts University and became a licensed and registered Occupational Therapist in 2002. She has 15 years of experience and became a Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) in 2007. In addition to treating the hand and elbow, Natalie specializes in the treatment of the entire upper extremity. She has a special interest of treating burns and has traveled to multiple under developed countries to volunteer in burn clinics. Natalie has presented at the American Society of Hand Therapy (ASHT) conference in which she spoke about treating the professional athlete. She has also taught multiple courses on elbow rehabilitation. Natalie is a member of the Hand Therapy Certification Commission (HTCC) and National Board Certification of Occupational Therapists (NBCOT).
Melissa A. Warren, OTR/L, CHT
Melissa Warren is a graduate of the Tufts University School of Occupational Therapy, and she became a Certified Hand Therapist in 2004. She joined New England Hand Associates in 2009 and has 20 + years of experience in the treatment of upper extremity rehabilitation, including advanced dynamic & static splinting, wound care, manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, and patient education. Melissa is a current member of the National Board Certification of Occupational Therapists (NBCOT) as well as the Hand Therapy Certification Commission (HTCC).
See one of our expert hand surgeons today or call our main office at (508) 872-7881 to request an appointment. With four locations in Framingham, Milford, Concord, and Westford, we’ll find a time and an office that’s convenient for you.
New England Hand Associates complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. Click HERE for more information.