Physical & Hand Therapy

Tidewater Physical Therapy is made up of a team of physical therapists, licensed physical therapy assistants, and physical therapy technicians. We are a dedicated team of professionals, whose main focus is to improve function, reduce pain, and improve quality of life. The physical therapy department is a team of diverse clinicians with a wide variety of specialties. We work directly with your doctor to develop and implement a patient plan of care on an individual basis geared towards the patient’s personal goals. We treat surgical and non-surgical diagnoses through implementation of manual techniques, therapeutic exercises, modalities, and functional activities.

Tidewater Orthopaedics is dedicated to keeping up with the latest research and techniques to ensure positive patient outcomes. We emphasize continuing education and training for the staff which furthers our commitment to learning new and innovative techniques and helping our patients return to an active lifestyle.

What to expect at your first appointment in physical therapy:

Your first appointment will take about an hour to one and a half hours. Your therapist will ask you questions about your symptoms, past medical history, medications, occupation, hobbies, and personal goals you would like to achieve during your time in physical therapy. The therapist will perform tests and take measurements to help set goals and gather information to improve your functional performance. Please wear comfortable clothing that allows you to move freely. Also, it is better to wear sneakers or tennis shoes. If you have a co-pay, it is due at the time of service and please bring a calendar so you can make follow up appointments.

Hand Therapy

Tidewater Orthopaedics is the only orthopaedic practice on the peninsula that offers a hand therapy department with specially trained certified hand therapists.  Tidewater Orthopaedics Hand Therapy consists of occupational therapists specializing in the treatment and rehabilitation of the upper extremity dysfunction. 

What is a Certified Hand Therapist?

A certified hand therapist (CHT) can be an occupational or physical therapist who, through advanced study and experience, specializes in treating individuals with conditions affecting the hands and upper extremity.  They must have a minimum of 3 years postgraduate experience with at least 4,000 hours in hand therapy and have successfully passed the Hand Therapy Certification Commission (HTCC) exam in order to obtain these credentials.  CHTs are dedicated professionals who have a commitment to meet the highest standards of their profession.  For additional information on Certified Hand Therapists, contact: (

What Do Hand Therapists Provide?

The hand therapy department receives its referral base from the hand specialists and other physicians at Tidewater Orthopaedics.  Outside referrals from other orthopeadic physicians in the area are also accepted by the hand therapy team.  This consists of treatment and rehabilitation of post-surgery, preventive, non-operative and chronic diagnoses.  These conditions include, but are not limited to, strains and sprains, burns, fractures, repetitive stress disorders, tendon and ligament injuries, congenital disorders, amputations and arthritis. 

The hand and fingers often need a period of immobilization after an injury to allow the tissues to heal properly.  Therapists are experts at fabricating custom orthoses for the upper extremity, commonly called splints.  These splints are custom made directly onto the affected joints using a low-temperatur thermoplastic.  These splints can be made not for the hand and fingers but also the elbow and the shoulder and are completed the day of the visit.

Therapy is often initiated 3-5 days post surgery or following initial physician appointment as ordered.  Therapists have access to the physicians as well as having a hand specialist on site at the facility daily to communicate and discuss patient's care and rehabilitation programs in order to provide optimal care for  our patients.