Coffs Coast Shoulder Hand Therapy

The Mid North Coast’s only clinic with two Accredited Hand Therapists as awarded by the Australian Hand Therapy Association, operating locally since 2006.

Hand Therapist Coffs Harbour

Hands are our independence, our livelihood, our leisure. Imagine then not having full, pain-free use of your hands? When hampered by injury or pain, they need highly trained Experts who are knowledgeable and experienced in the intricacies of a functioning upper limb from the hand up to the shoulder to maximise outcomes and minimise recovery time. Due to our commitment of intensive study, examinations and years of pre-requisite experience to gain the qualifications, we are proud to be the only clinic on the MNC of NSW with two Accredited Hand Therapists [as awarded by the Australian Hand Therapy Association], one of whom has also studied to become an internationally Credentialed Hand Therapist [USA].

Being Physiotherapists as well as Hand Therapists, we know how important your hands are, and always conduct a thorough assessment of other factors that may be contributing to your pain or dysfunction. We travel nationally and internationally to attend Conferences, often combined with  Specialist Hand Surgeons where focus is purely on management of the Hand, or alternatively conferences with Shoulder/Elbow Surgeons, so we stay abreast of the latest research and treatment approaches.

Any trauma, arthritis or disease impacting on your hands or shoulders not managed effectively from the outset can have devastating results on your dexterity, your income, your independence, and your life. We use our hands to keep fit and healthy, to have fun, explore, learn, love, care and share. Delayed or inappropriate management can alter a potential straightforward management plan to a protracted rehab period with poorer results. Please, if you are unsure always call to speak to one of our Hand Therapists. Early intervention and correct management always returns the best results.

Hand Therapy FAQs

What is the process in hand therapy?

Hand therapy is a sub-speciality area involving assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of hand and upper extremity injuries, conditions and post-surgery through a variety of techniques, including manual therapy, splinting, exercise and modalities. The goal of hand therapy is to improve function, reduce pain, minimise any complications post-injury or surgery and prevent future injury.

What is the role of my physiotherapy Accredited Hand Therapist [AHTA]?

The role of your Accredited Hand Therapist [AHTA] is to assess, diagnose and treat your injury or condition. Both our physiotherapists have undergone the rigorous education, training and compulsory experience to achieve the status of Accredited Hand Therapists as awarded by the Australian Hand Therapy Association. They will work with you—the patient—to develop a personalised treatment plan and provide patient education on injury prevention, proper body mechanics and self-care to ensure optimal outcomes. They will monitor your progress and adjust the treatment plan as needed for best possible results. The overall goal of the physiotherapist is to help you achieve the highest level of function and independence possible.

How long until I see results from hand therapy?

The length of time it takes to see results from hand therapy can vary depending on the severity and complexity of the injury or condition. Some patients may see immediate changes, some improvement in just a few sessions, while others may take several weeks or months of therapy after a severe injury. The speed of progress also depends on the patient’s compliance with their home exercise program and overall health.

Is hand therapy painful?

The ultimate goal of hand therapy is to reduce pain and improve function. Sometimes there may be temporary discomfort experienced when massaging scars or stretching tight tissues, but your therapist will adjust the treatment based on your tolerance. Any discomfort should only ever be temporary and well within your pain tolerance as you and your Hand Therapist both work together to overall improve your hand function. ANY severe pain you may experience at any time should be communicated to your Hand Therapist immediately.

Who can benefit from hand therapy?

Hand therapy can be beneficial for a range of conditions including carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, shoulder rotator cuff problems, tendonosis, fractures, sprains, post-operative rehabilitation, work related injuries, arthritis, nerve compression syndromes and much more.

What can I expect during a hand therapy session?

Being an Expert in Upper Limb diagnosis and management, during a hand therapy session, the Therapist will evaluate the patient’s condition and perform a range of assessments to determine the best course of treatment. The Hand Therapist may use manual therapy techniques, splinting, exercises and modalities to improve hand function and reduce pain. They’ll also provide the patient with a home exercise program to continue progress outside of the clinic.

What are the long-term benefits of hand therapy?

Experienced, Accredited Hand Therapists always aim to minimise complications and maximise your recovery in the minimal amount of time. The long-term benefits of hand therapy can include improved hand function, reduced pain and a reduced risk of future injury. Hand therapy can also help to improve a patient’s overall quality of life by restoring the ability to perform daily activities that were previously limited by the condition.

How often should I attend hand therapy appointments?

The frequency of hand therapy appointments will vary depending on the severity and complexity of the condition, as well as the patient’s progress. Initially, appointments may be more regular, with the frequency decreasing over time with improvement. The physiotherapist will work with the patient to determine the appropriate number of appointments for best results.

Can hand therapy be done in conjunction with other treatments?

Yes, hand therapy can be done in conjunction with other treatments, such as medications or surgery. The physiotherapist will work with the patient’s medical team to make sure all treatments are coordinated and complement each other to optimise the patient’s recovery.


81 West High St
Coffs Harbour, 2450, NSW
Get Directions
Mon - Friday
8am - 5.30pm
(02) 6651 1745

Our Areas of Expertise

We believe that when someone seeks advice/treatment from a health professional, they should expect and receive knowledgeable, experienced, evidence based attention to minimise complications and recovery time, and maximise their outcomes. That’s why our two Hand Therapist physios under the AHTA have studied intensively the intricacies of the upper limb - detailed anatomy, kinematics, ergonomics and best evidence based management strategies, and met the required 3000+ hours of dedicated treatment of the hand /elbow /shoulder injuries/conditions to become recognised Accredited Hand Therapists as per the Australian Hand Therapist Association. One of our Hand Therapists has gone further to pass the International standard requirements of the HTCC as a Credentialed Hand Therapist [USA], as well as being accepted in the elite group of Shoulder and Elbow Physiotherapists of Australia [SEPA].

Hand therapists can advice on tools as well as braces to improve arthritic hand function


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We Are Unique Because

Internationally Certified Hand Therapist [USA]

Specialty certification in hand therapy was established in 1991 to recognise physiotherapists and occupational therapists with advanced clinical knowledge, experience and skills in the practice of hand and upper extremity rehabilitation. It assists consumers and health professionals in identifying those therapists who meet the rigorous standards required of Certified Hand Therapists, including over three years of practical experience with 4,000 hours or more in direct practice in hand therapy and successful completion of a comprehensive test of advanced clinical skills and theory in Upper Limb Rehabilitation. Faye is the only internationally recognised Certified Hand Therapist [USA] on the Mid North Coast of NSW.

Seeking Accredited Hand Therapists on MNC?

Our Therapists have fulfilled educational and practical experience requirements, so you get the results! Both Sean and Faye have dedicated the time, effort and resources to fulfil the rigid conditions set out by the Australian Hand Therapy Association regarding CE (continuing education) hours specific to Hand Therapy, exams, plus accumulating experience of over 4000+ hours of treating Upper Limb conditions. As such Sean and Faye are both Accredited Hand Therapist as awarded by the Australian Hand Therapy Association, establishing Coffs Shoulder to Hand Clinic as the only clinic on the MNC with two qualified, fully Accredited Hand Therapists as per the Australian Hand Therapy Association.

Portrait of man showing damaged thumb whilst holding weed trimmer

Our Ongoing Commitment to Education

Getting qualifications is one thing, keeping abreast of latest research and most effective treatment approaches is another. This is what delivers outcomes for clients that importantly minimises any complications, maximises their outcomes, and reduces their recovery times. We regularly travel and attend dedicated Hand Therapy as well as Shoulder/Elbow specific Conferences both Nationally and Internationally, learning and sharing education and knowledge with Hand and Shoulder Surgeon Specialists, as well as other experienced Therapists and Researchers. Faye is also a member of the Shoulder & Elbow Physiotherapists of Australasia [SEPA].

Meet your your Physio

Faye Wiffen

I am lucky to have found a niche in my career that has became a passion- I love treating the upper limb!!

This was nurtured whilst studying for my post-graduate Masters Degree in Manual and Manipulative Therapy, where my major research project was on ‘Frozen Shoulder/Adhesive Capsulitis,’ later published in the international “Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy.” This then qualified me to join the Shoulder and Elbow Physiotherapists of Australasia (SEPA), an elite group of physiotherapists highly skilled and experienced in treatment of the shoulder and elbow conditions.

An opportunity next presented to extend and challenge myself professionally by exploring deeper the complexity of the sub-specialty interest area of Hand Therapy- literally a Pandora’s box but extremely rewarding when you can return a fully functional hand after severe trauma or injury. After gaining the prerequisite experience and passing the USA based Hand Therapy Certification Commission Exam, I received the internationally recognised title of Certified Hand Therapist [USA]. Further recognition of experience and extensive knowledge in the field of Hand Therapy came with the title of Accredited Hand Therapist as awarded by the Australian Hand Therapy Association. Both of these certifications are a recognition of fulfilling the pre-requisites of several years of experience, study and demonstration of an advanced level of competence in assessing, diagnosing and treating the complexities of upper limb conditions extending from the hand to the shoulder. My extensive experience as a Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist [APA] gives me the added ability to broaden my treatment approach to include secondary issues that may be impacting on the clients presenting problem. For example, a shoulder rotator cuff problem may be due to overload caused by weak trunk core muscles, or due to a stiff thoracic spine blocking free shoulder girdle mobility.

On a personal level I practice what I preach, being active in kayaking, cycling, bushwalking, gym and of course the garden!

My goal is to enable all who have the desire, to age actively – My journey of discovery is ongoing.

Sean Wiffen

Finding a passion in Hand Therapy, Sean qualified as an Accredited Hand Therapist as awarded by the Australian Hand Therapy Association after completing the prerequisite education, years of experience and demonstration of an advanced level of competence in assessing, diagnosing and treating the complexities of upper limb conditions extending from the hand to the shoulder. He is experienced in assessment, diagnosis and management of a wide range of hand and upper limb conditions extending from multi-trauma, fractures in the wrist or hand, tendon repairs or overuse injuries, burns and scar hand therapy, to post-operative management and rehab following elective surgery.

Sean has also accrued extensive experience in treating shoulder conditions, from instabilities, fractures, dislocations, rotator cuff tendonosis, bursitis to post-operative rehabilitation. Drawing on his Nordic ‘whole body’ assessment approach, he will also conduct a thorough assessment to identify if the source of pain is coming from elsewhere other than your shoulder, and hence direct your treatment accordingly. He continues to build on his knowledge and skills by regular attendance at Specialist Surgeon/Therapist Combined International and National Conferences relating exclusively to the  Shoulder/Elbow, or Hand Therapy.

As a physio Sean understands how important our hands are. Any injury or trauma to the hand requires expert advice and skill to avoid complications, and during your Hand Therapy rehab he is driven to minimise recovery time and maximise your outcomes.

Experience, Dedication, Passion
Let's work together towards your goals

(02) 6651 1745

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Our Location

81 West High St
Coffs Harbour, 2450, NSW

Convenient, central location in West High St, with ample parking and convenient disabled access in rear of building off Gundagai Place.

Health On High multi-disciplinary Allied Health Clinic West High St Coffs Harbour
No doctors referral needed
Same-Day Appointments