Hand Therapy

Kim Nolen

Specialized therapy speeds recovery of hand injuries

With the addition of two certified hand therapists to its physical therapy staff, West Tennessee Bone & Joint Clinic can provide specialized rehabilitative services for the hand and upper extremities to help patients manage pain and recover quicker.

Certified hand therapists Jared Alvey and Kimberly Nolen offer a significant amount of specialized training to help patients with conditions affecting their hands and upper extremities. Hand therapy is a type of medical rehabilitation performed by occupational or physical therapists that helps speed recovery and a return to a productive lifestyle.

Jared Alvey

To earn a certified hand therapist (CHT) designation — the highest level of competency in the profession — therapists need a minimum of five years of clinical experience, including at least 4,000 hours practicing hand therapy. Alvey and Nolen also were required to pass a comprehensive test of advanced technical skills and theory.

Alvey earned a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis and then provided outpatient therapy services in Dyersburg for several years. He returned to Memphis in 2008 as a clinician with a full-time practice in hand and upper extremity care. Alvey has a strong background in cumulative trauma and a clinical eye for provocative testing and clinical treatment planning.

Nolen earned a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from the University of
Central Arkansas. She moved to Jackson in 1986 to work more closely with patients in need of hand and upper extremity rehabilitation at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital. She was promoted to director of the occupational therapy department at the hospital.

Nolen opened a private practice in 2002 that focused on hand and upper extremity treatment. She also was among the first class of therapists to earn the CHT recognition. Nolen has served as an adjunct faculty member for occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant educational programs.

Both Nolen and Alvey are clinical instructors for Level I and II occupational therapy rotations. Both also are members of the American Society of Hand Therapists.