hand therapy – women’s health – cancer recovery – orthopedics

Decatur Hand & Physical Therapy Specialists is an outpatient occupational and physical therapy clinic specializing in the treatment in of Hand & Upper Extremity injuries as well as Women’s Health and Cancer Recovery. As a specialty clinic, our therapists are highly knowledgeable in the most up to date treatments for your condition. Working together, we create an environment to help optimize your body’s ability to heal and return to activity.

Our philosophy is to provide the highest quality therapy through personalized care and education. The personalized approach ensures patient comprehension and will enhance proper treatment progression to secure the best outcome for our patients. In order for full return to an active and healthy lifestyle, the patient must be involved and educated in the recovery process.


personalized care & education

Our Certified Hand Therapists (CHT’s), have the highest levels of training in the profession for treating the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder. Our CHT’s have successfully passed an exam of advanced clinical skills and theory in upper extremity rehab. This high degree of specialization translates to a speedy recovery.

Our highly trained Women’s Health physical therapists provides treatment for urinary and fecal incontinence, prolapse, pregnancy and post partum pain, vulvodynia, vaginismus and dyspareunia (painful intercourse) and abdominal/pelvic scar pain. Their hands on approach delivers the highest level of personal and compassionate care.

Our Cancer Recovery Program can help reduce fatigue and pain that may be present during or after your medical treatments. Specialized care may include an individualized program to increase endurance, strength, flexibility and balance in order to help you return to wellness.

Our Directors and Specialists


Additional programs are available. Contact us for information on additional or specialty programs you may need.

  • Strains/Sprains
  • Neck & Head Aches
  • Low Back/Spine Conditions
  • Arthritis/DJD
  • Tendonitis
  • Surgical Repairs/Reconstruction
  • Manual Therapy
  • Injury Assessment
  • Treatment
  • Education & Prevention
  • Athletic Training Outreach
  • Knee
  • Shoulder
  • Foot and Ankle Rehab
  • Overhead Athlete (Throwing Injuries)
  • Sports Performance Enhancement
  • Endurance Training
  • Splinting
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / Sprains, Strains and Fractures
  • Static and Dynamic Splint Fabrication
  • Flexor/Extensor Tendon Repair Rehab
  • Elbow & Hand Surgical Repairs/Reconstruction
  • Wound Care
  • Pelvic Pain
  • Urinary Incontinence
  • Pregnancy Pain
  • Cancer Related Fatigue Program
  • Nutrition Education
  • Breast Cancer Rehab
  • Scar Pain/Management
  • Trigger Point Dry Needling (TDN)



In addition to the new patient packet please fill out a functional outcome tool below that best fits the body part we are seeing you for
Functional Outcome Questionnaires

Please fill out the appropriate survey prior to your first visit.

Hand, Wrist or Elbow Pain | Download

Shoulder Pain | Download

Knee or Hip Osteoarthritis | Download

Low Back Pain | Download

Lower Extremity Pain | Download

Neck Disability | Download

Physician Use

Physician Use

Prescription Form | Download

This copy may be faxed, mailed or hand delivered to the clinic. DO NOT EMAIL PRESCRIPTION.


For Additional Questions Please Contact Us At (404) 296-8511

Yes. The choice of where you receive therapy is always yours. While the majority of our patients come to us by physician referral/recommendation, many clients request to see us due to our strong clinical reputation in the community.

We operate in a direct access state where, if your insurance plan authorizes self-referral to physical therapy, a physician referral is not necessary for you to be seen by a licensed therapist. Please check with your insurance though as many health insurance plans require a physician’s referral for therapy to be covered. We also offer treatments, services and/or products that do NOT require a referral and are available on a self-pay basis.

As a service to our patients, we will gladly file claims with your insurance company on your behalf. In order to appropriately submit these claims, we will need to obtain a copy of your insurance identification card to ensure that we have the necessary information.

Your therapist will conduct an evaluation of your condition lasting between 60-90 minutes. The evaluation is necessary to create a program designed specifically to address your needs for a maximum recovery.

– Referral slip from your medical doctor
– Your medical insurance card
– Your ID
– A copy of your medication list including dosages, if you have it
– If you are getting therapy as a result of a worker’s compensation claim or an automobile accident, you will also need to bring your claim information, including claim number.

Please arrive 15 minutes early on your first visit to fill out any necessary paperwork.

We recommend comfortable clothing such as sweatpants or shorts, a T-shirt or tank-top and sneakers.

Each visit will last 60 – 90 minutes on average. Times vary due to the treatment and exercises being performed.

The regularity of your visits will be determined after your initial evaluation, but most patients have 3 visits each week scheduled.


“I am a 37yr old Iraqi War vet who has had 6 surgeries since 2003. I’ve been seeing Laura for Physical Therapy since April 2010. Through Dry Needling and hand and neck therapy, my pain has decreased from a 9-10 constantly to a 6/10 intermittently. I have decreased my pain medications and increased exercise as a result. Thank you Laura, you are a Godsend.”

Robert B.

“Dear Rachele,

This letter is long overdue, but I did not want to pass up the opportunity to express my gratitude for your therapeutic assistance with my broken wrist earlier this year. From my first visit to your office, I noticed a significant difference in the mobility of my wrist and my left hand.

I might add that the friendliness, casual, comfortable atmosphere of your offices and your aide, Tonya, added the pleasure (in spite of some necessary pain) of coming in for my sessions. Today I can honestly say that, even with a plate in my wrist, I am able to do everything I was able to do before.

Thank you so much for your professionalism, your warm and inviting environment and your friendship.”

“Thanks for your touch! I do believe you made my tenosynovitis not so tender anymore. Yes – I do my exercises as you taught me and I am progressing to be a full “Hand Shaker” again. Thank you for your time, patience and kindness. I also really liked your receptionist – Ms. Thompson – very personable – as you are. What a team! Thanks again.”

“I would highly recommend Rachele P. Branson as a hand therapist.

I was luckily referred to Rachele by my surgeon’s office. As a patient, my left hand and wrist had to be “rebuilt” twice before beginning therapy with Rachele. I saw vast and fast improvement in my hand, wrist and finger movement and usage under her supervision.

My first impression in her office was how noticeably clean and organized it was. Ultimately however, I believe it was a combination of Rachele’s knowledge, compassion, up-to-date equipment and her great attitude that helped me heal and rebuild the strength to make things work almost as well as they did originally. In fact I am easily typing this letter when just 6 months ago I could not even squeeze a paperclip with my left forefinger and thumb. Quite obviously I have much to be thankful for, including having both my surgeons’ and Rachele’s talent and professionalism.”

“I have been seeing Laura Higgins for nearly 2 years. As a cervical cancer survivor, physical therapy with Laura has given me the hope that one day I might again be a “normal” woman! My biggest regret is not finding Laura right after my cancer surgery and radiation. The entire staff at Decatur Hand and Physical Therapy is wonderful, compassionate and knowledgeable. I’m so glad I found them!”