Our Clinic

Our Certified Hand Therapist:

Nancy Houghton  MS, OTR/L, CHT
Nancy has been an occupational therapist for 31 years and a Certified Hand Therapist since 1994. She has previously worked at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics and at OrthoIllinois (Rockford Orthopedics) before establishing Helping Hands Rehab.

Nancy has extensive experience in all types of pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation for the hand, wrist, forearm, elbow, and the occasional shoulder.

Benefits of Working with a CHT
People value the use of their hands and any loss of function through injury or accident may have a devastating effect on their lives. Anyone with an injury wants the very best of treatment to assure maximal recovery. The Certified Hand Therapist credential offers assurance to the public that the therapist has achieved the highest level of competency in the profession and stays up to date with practice within the field.  A Certified Hand Therapist can be a Physical Therapist or an Occupational Therapist.  85% of CHTs are Occupational Therapists. 

The intricate anatomy of the arm and hand frequently requires very delicate surgery, often with microscopic techniques. The technical complexity of these kinds of surgeries necessitates a high level of competence by therapists with advanced skills in upper quarter rehabilitation during postoperative recovery. Therapists must be knowledgeable about these advanced surgical techniques and postoperative therapy programs to become CHTs. They must also remain current with changes in hand therapy practice.

Certification is voluntary and difficult to attain. It involves meeting rigorous standards, developing a long-range career path, and acquiring the advanced study and training required to pass the certification examination. CHTs are therapists who demonstrated a personal dedication to the profession of hand therapy and a desire for advanced competency; they bring to their work a commitment and dedication to reach and maintain the highest standards in their profession. The CHT credential is recognized by many professional organizations as a benchmark for excellence in advanced specialty credentialing in health care.

Helping Hands Rehab News …………………………………

Roscoe therapist: Poor posture at heart of young patients’ injuries

By Mike DeDonckerHEALTHYROCKFORD.COMPosted May 11, 2011 @ 11:29 AM

ROSCOE — They come to Nancy Houghton with numbness, tingling or sharp, stabbing pains in their hands and forearms, but they’re not the clients she would have expected.

Houghton, an occupational therapist for 23 years and a certified hand therapist for the past 18, said she and others in her field are seeing a new class of clients presenting with complaints such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow and hand and finger pain — young people in their middle teens up to age 25 who haven’t been performing the type of repetitive work usually associated with these overuse injuries. …read more


Spread arms to embrace better posture

May 6th, 2011 at 04:03pm Mike DeDoncker
I interviewed Nancy Houghton, an occupational therapist and certified hand therapist, yesterday for an upcoming story about how she is seeing younger and younger patients coming in for treatment of ailments such as tennis elbow and carpal tunnel syndrome, even though they’re not doing the repetitive motion work usually associated with those types of injuries. …Read More