Musician Gets a Helping Hand - Certified Hand Therapist Helps Accordion Player Recover from Finger Injury

PLOVER, WI – Hand injuries can be devastating. Simple tasks like tying shoes, typing, turning knobs, and buttoning shirts become complicated. And favorite hobbies may no longer be possible.


When Tom Davis of Wisconsin Rapids cut a tendon in his index finger while ice fishing, he worried that his days of playing accordion may be over. He and his wife, Carol, who plays drums, have been performing at polka masses, care centers, and community gatherings for decades. As recent retirees, they were looking forward to many more years of making music together.


Following surgery on March 15, Tom’s surgeon prescribed hand therapy. After a few weeks of traveling to Appleton to work with the surgeon’s team, Tom was ready to continue his therapy locally. He was referred to Beth Wojcik, occupational therapist and certified hand therapist with Aspirus Plover Clinic-Plover Road.

Certified hand therapists, or CHTs, can help with a wide variety of issues from elbows to fingertips. In addition to helping patients recover from wounds and fractures, CHTs can address pain, swelling, issues with finger or hand sensation, movement dysfunction, strength deficits, nerve compression syndromes such as carpal tunnel, nerve repairs, wrist/elbow/shoulder tendinopathies, arthritis, dislocations, tendon and ligament injuries, and orthotics.


Becoming a CHT requires three years as a licensed physical therapist or occupational therapist, 4,000 hours of experience evaluating and treating hand and upper extremity conditions, and successfully passing the CHT exam. Recertification every five years requires another 2,000 hours of experience and 80 more hours of professional development in upper extremity rehab.


“While seeking out a certified hand therapist isn’t absolutely necessary, the extensive training and experience we offer can make a difference,” says Beth. She admits that finding a CHT can be challenging, as she is the only one in the Stevens Point/Plover area.


Tom works with Beth once a week for about 45 minutes and continues his recovery by performing the exercises she has taught him several times a day. Without therapy, Tom’s ability to fully straighten or bend his finger would be limited. The weekly flexion measurements Beth takes show that Tom’s therapy is working, and he is on track to achieve his goal – full recovery in time for four polka gigs in early June. 


To learn more about hand therapy with Beth Wojcik, call Aspirus Plover Clinic-Plover Road at 715-295-3800.


Aspirus Health is a non-profit, community-directed health system based in Wausau, Wisconsin. Its 11,000 employees are focused on improving the health and well-being of people throughout Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. Aspirus serves communities through four hospitals in Michigan and 13 hospitals in Wisconsin, 75 clinics, home health and hospice care, pharmacies, critical care and air-medical transport, medical goods, nursing homes and a broad network of physicians. For more information, visit



Beth Wojcik, occupational therapist and certified hand therapist, measures Tom Davis’ finger flexion during a recent hand therapy session at Aspirus Plover Clinic-Plover Road.