Are you living with pain?


Published: 07/23/2014

by Laura Briedis Tomko


People suffering from hand, arm or elbow pain often cannot find relief. There are misconceptions that hand and arm pain is normal as people grow older and that repetitive stress injuries, such as carpel tunnel syndrome, only happen to people at work, or that tennis elbow only bothers athletes.


At The Center for Stroke and Hand Recovery, occupational therapist Sharon Covey is successfully treating patients by identifying limiting factors and developing treatment plans to help them regain mobility and functionality through therapy.


“One of the patients I just treated had carpel tunnel syndrome caused by the way she held the newspaper every morning while reading,” explains Sharon. “You wouldn’t think holding the paper wrong could be that big a deal, but after my assessment it was determined to be one of the causative activities.”


“In 75% of cases, I can prevent patients from having carpel tunnel surgery by identifying the causes, modifying activities, and teaching simple exercises,” she adds.


Another recent patient, who did not play sports, was suffering from tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis). She’d injured herself by pulling files out of the filing cabinet every day at work. “Once we identified the causative activity, we helped her modify her actions at work and home, and developed an exercise program to strengthen her muscles and prevent re-injury. Now she is pain free,” says Sharon.


Others who suffer from arthritis, fractures, lacerations, joint problems, repetitive stress injuries, or are recovering from a stroke also are improving their quality of life at this specialized outpatient clinic in Solon.


Even those with complicated cases such as multiple fractures and post surgical needs can return back to normal function after therapy. Jeff Mack, pictured above, was severely injured when a dune buggy rolled over, entrapping his hand. He sustained multiple fractures in each finger, but after extensive therapy he is able to use his hand and resume daily tasks.


One of the few Saebo-certified practitioners in town, Sharon also works with patients after a stroke to help them regain function in their hands and arms—even those who had a stroke five to 10 years ago. “Occupational therapy is a direct-access profession, which means you can walk in without a doctor’s referral for treatment, except for limitations of Medicare, Medicaid, and Worker’s Comp,” she explains. “And the center accepts most insurance plans, so check us out to see how we can improve your quality of life.”


The Center for Stroke and Hand Recovery is located inside Rehabilitex, at 6001 Cochran Road, Suite 202, in Solon. Call 440-498-9723 for an appointment. Check out the new website,