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What Drives Finger Motion

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Quick Overview

Online Course: Review of the multifaceted functions of the dorsal apparatus to recognize what muscle power influences which movements and how the muscles work together.

2 Credit Hours

Instructor: Judy C. Colditz, OT, CHT, FAOTA

Experience Level: Intermediate       NOTE: This course is listed as intermediate, but offers content for all levels of experience: beginners will learn some basic concepts and experienced therapists will gain new insights. AOTA permits only one experience level to be listed.

Video Runtime: 1 hour, 58 minutes

Course description: This two hour lecture analyzes the function of the multifaceted dorsal apparatus allowing you to identify contributing muscle power. You will focus on what muscle power influences which movements and how the muscles work together. The content of this presentation is not available elsewhere. Video of fresh cadaver dissections, custom professional anatomical illustrations, and custom schematic drawings enrich this presentation. This course is the second part of six lectures that are intended to be viewed in sequence.

Learning Objectives: At the completion of this 2 hour online video course, the participant will be able to:

  1. Identify the primary muscle power for MP joint flexion.
  2. Differentiate the role of the interosseous muscles when the MP joint is flexed versus when it is extended.
  3. Identify the primary extensor of the DIP joint.


Target Audience: Occupational and Physical Therapists who treat hand patients; Certified Hand Therapists

Prerequisites: The course participant should be familiar with the basic bony and muscle/tendon anatomy of the hand. It is desirable that the participant view the first course in this series prior to viewing this course.

Cancellation: This online course is available to the subscriber for a period of six (6) months following the date of purchase. Refunds are not available.

Completion Requirements: Learner must view video in its entirety and successfully pass the online examination to earn the stated contact hour credit. Only those who satisfactorily meet these requirements will be awarded the contact hours. Note: AOTA CEUs are calculated by dividing contact hours by 10.

AOTA Approved Provider: This course is approved for credit by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. Approved Provider Program and provides information under the AOTA Classification Codes:AOTA provider


Client Factors

  • Body Functions

Activity Demands

  • Required action

General Questions

How do I access my HandLab online course?

You will receive an email with course access instructions separately from your order confirmation email. You may also download Course Access Instructions here. NOTE: If a course was purchased for you or you chose to not have the course automatically activated during checkout, you will need to activate your course with the serial number from your order confirmation.

What are my payment options?

Online course tuition may be paid only by MasterCard, Visa, American Express or Discover; check payment is not accepted. Upon payment you will receive an email confirmation of your course purchase, and your online course(s) will be available in the My Online Courses and Exams section of your HandLab account.

Will I receive a confirmation of my HandLab online course purchase?

Yes, after completing your order you will receive an email confirmation. To access your online courses you will use your HandLab account login information.

Does HandLab provide discounts for multiple attendees from one facility?

We are unable to offer multiple attendee discounts. To receive continuing education credit each participant must create a HandLab account.

Does HandLab offer volume discounts for purchasing multiple Online Video Courses at one time?

Yes, volume discounts automatically apply as follows:

Purchase 3 online video courses to receive a 10% discount on each course.
Purchase 6 online video courses to receive a 20% discount on each course.
Purchase 10 online video courses to receive a 30% discount on each course.

What will my credit card statement say?

Your credit card statement will have a charge from “HandLab.”

What is the online course cancellation policy?

Because HandLab online courses are available to you anytime for a period of 6 months, HandLab does not accept cancellations or provide refunds for online courses.


Which Course is Right for Me?

I am a beginning hand therapist—what HandLab courses are best for me?

This is a challenging question for us since we do not know your level of experience/knowledge!  Most of our courses provide a focus on understanding anatomy as a key to understanding pathology and treatment rationale, and new therapists say this approach is valuable. One therapist commented: “I have one year experience in working in a clinic treating only hand pathology. This course addressed my needs to know WHY you do WHAT and WHEN instead of simply following a protocol set out for you.”

I am preparing for the CHT exam—what HandLab courses are best for me?

Therapists have told us HandLab courses help them gain clinical reasoning skills which are vital to passing the exam.  We are unable to identify any one course to specifically help with passing the exam since we do not know the exam content.

I have many years of experience and am not looking for the basics-- what HandLab courses are best for me?

Although HandLab courses review the core knowledge needed for treatment, each course provides current evidence based rationale for treatment. Experienced therapists tell us our courses are a time saver in keeping them up-to-date.  One therapist with 35 years’ experience wrote:  "I am so happy I chose this course… Many thanks! Yes, my skills are going to the clinic in the morning! Wonderful!".

Do you offer hands-on splinting (orthotic construction) courses?

Because therapists find that close up videos of orthotic construction allow them to stop, restart, rewind, and review all the steps of construction over and over again as needed, we now provide only online videos of orthotic construction skills. Since the videos are available for six months, the therapist can integrate the skills fully during this time.

Which Online Video Courses have detailed demonstrations of the steps of orthotic construction?

You will find construction videos in the following courses:

  • The Obstinate PIP Joint
    • PIP serial cast
    • PIP precise gutter
    • PIP Active redirection for flexion and/or extension
  • Radial Nerve: Rehabilitation & Orthotic Intervention
  • Constructing an Effective Intrinsic Stretching Orthosis
  • Thumb CMC Osteoarthritis: Optimal Orthotic Intervention for the CMC Joint
  • Thumb CMC Osteoarthritis: Optimal Orthotic Intervention for the MP & IP Joints
Does HandLab recommend a certain order in which I should complete the Online Video Courses?

Although each HandLab video course can be viewed independently, two groups of courses are optimally viewed in sequence (in descending order listed):


  • Understanding the Dorsal Apparatus of the Finger
  • What Drives Finger Motion
  • Insight into the Interosseous Muscles
  • Interosseous Muscle Tightness Testing
  • Insight into the Lumbrical Muscle & Testing for Tightness
  • Constructing an Effective Intrinsic Stretching Orthosis


  • Thumb Framework: Joints, Ligaments & Motions
  • Scrutiny of the Multidimensional Thumb Muscles
  • Thumb CMC Osteoarthritis: Surgical & Post-Surgical Insights
  • Thumb CMC Osteoarthritis: Precise Examination & Non-Surgical Treatment
  • Thumb CMC Osteoarthritis: Optimal Orthotic Intervention for the CMC Joint
  • Thumb CMC Osteoarthritis: Optimal Orthotic Intervention for the MP & IP Joints
Are the classes Judy Colditz teaches at conferences available as online courses?

Yes and no; information in Online Video Courses is updated and/or expanded from courses at meetings (or vice versa). Some core information may be repeated but the presentations are never identical.

Is information in the Online Video Courses similar to information in the HandLab DVDs?

There is some repetition of information but the Online Video Courses are newer and thus have more updated information.


Continuing Education Credit

How does credit for HandLab online video courses work?

To obtain continuing education credit, you must view the video and pass the online exam. Log in to your account and click on "My Courses & Exams" to access your course. Once you complete the course, your online exam is available.

Upon successful completion of the exam, you can print/save a PDF of your Certificate of Completion with contact hours. If you do not successfully complete the exam, you may take the exam as many times as needed until passed. You have 6 months from the date of purchase in which to pass the exam.

HandLab is an approved provider of the American Occupational Therapy Association.  Individual HandLab Online Courses of less than 3 hours meet criteria “B” for HTCC requirements, but if you complete multiple HandLab online courses you may submit the certificates together to HTCC and receive type “A” credit.  If you do not submit the certificates together, you will not be eligible for type “A” credit.

When can I take my online exam?

You must first view the entire video to gain access to the exam. NOTE: If you watch part of a video and return later, you can resume from the last point you viewed, to assure you do not mistakenly miss part of the video. 

Where do I take my online exam?

You may take the exam from any computer where you can access our website: www.HandLab.com. You must also have the ability to print from www.HandLab.com at your home/work location to print your certificate.  If you are unable to print, you may print the certificate at a later time if needed.

Can I sign on to www.HandLab.com to take the exam and be sure your site is secure? 

Our website uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), the industry standard for secure online transactions to protect our customers' privacy and our website's integrity with encrypted links between our website and a customer's computer.

What happens if I fail my exam?

If you do not successfully complete the exam, you may take the exam as many times as needed until passed. You have 6 months from the date of purchase in which to pass the exam.

How can I get another copy of my continuing education certificate?

If you require a replacement certificate, log in to your account, click "My Courses & Exams" and locate your certificate under "My Certificates" to reprint your certificate. 

Will my contact hours be accredited?

HandLab is an approved provider of continuing education by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).  Individual HandLab online courses less than 3 hours long meet criteria “B” for HTCC requirements, but if you complete multiple online courses you may submit the certificates together to HTCC and receive type “A” credit.  If you do not submit the certificates together, you will not be eligible for type “A” credit.

HandLab online courses may meet individual state continuing education requirements for PTs and OTs. HandLab does not assume responsibility for courses refused by individual licensing boards in the USA. It is the responsibility of the participant to make sure the state to which they are submitting CE credits will approve HandLab course credit.

Does HandLab credit apply to my state license renewal requirements?

Continuing education requirements are different in different states. You must check with your state licensing board to confirm approval or assure prior approval. HandLab cannot guarantee acceptance by your state licensing board. HandLab is an approved continuing education provider of the American Occupational Therapy Association which many states recognize. HandLab will provide information you require to submit for approval. Please contact support@handlab.com for assistance.

Can my contact hours be used for my CHT renewal?

Yes, individual HandLab online courses less than 3 hours long meet criteria “B” for HTCC requirements, but if you complete multiple online courses you may submit the certificates together to HTCC and receive type “A” credit.  If you do not submit the certificates together, you will not be eligible for type “A” credit.


Technical Questions

What are the technical requirements for viewing an online course?

HandLab Online Video Courses consist of a printable/savable handout, video, and online exam.

  • Handout: To view the handout you must have a PDF viewer installed on your computer. Most computers have this automatically installed but if not, you should be prompted by your computer to download the software.
  • Online Video: All course videos stream directly to your computer so you do not need any special software. The speed (and clarity) of your video depends on the quality of your internet connection. If you are trying to access a course from a work computer and having trouble accessing your course, please check with your network administrator. Companies often have firewalls or restrictions that impede access to certain websites/file types.
  • Online Exam: There are no special requirements for taking the online exam.
  • Certificate of Completion: You will need the same PDF viewer installed as needed for the handouts. You may print or save the PDF of your Certificate of Completion.
Which web browser should I use for accessing a course?

The HandLab website and Education Center works best with modern browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla FireFox, Safari, and the latest version of Internet Explorer. Our website does not work well with outdated versions of Internet Explorer. Please make sure you are using the most up to date version of your browser if you are having technical difficulties.

Why is my course not listed in the education center?

If someone else purchased a course for you or when you purchased you checked the box to NOT automatically activate the course, you need to activate the course. You can activate a course here using the serial number in your order confirmation email.

Online Video Courses expire 6 months from the date of purchase. The course will no longer be listed if it has passed the 6 month expiration. All of your Certificates of Completion will continue to be available anytime under “My Certificates.”

My course is activated but I still cannot see the course listed in the education center.

Try returning to the main HandLab webpage and logging out of your account. Log back in and return to the Education Center. Select My Courses from the left hand column to see your courses.

13 Reviews

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  1. I would recommend the series of courses for any OT treating patients with hand injuries! Review by Anonymous

    I will use the information learned when I assess and treat a patient with a hand injury. I was in search of this knowledge for a long time. Wonderful course! The repetition helps take home the message.
    (Posted on 10/16/2017)

  2. ... Review by Aaron

    I will use this to explain finger motion to patients.
    (Posted on 6/13/2017)

  3. Very good. Review by Edmund

    It is helpful in seeing all the structures work in ""convert"" with one another.
    (Posted on 5/23/2017)

  4. This course will help me more effectively evaluate the hand function of my patients and develop better exercise programs to address deficits Review by Libby

    I have a much better understanding of the complicated finger anatomy and how it drives functional use of the hand...and how when weakness and stiffness occurs this affects other structures within the finger
    (Posted on 5/19/2017)

  5. recommend this course to a therapist who has been working in a hands setting for a couple years Review by Lauren

    I did enjoy the course but I found it quite challenging as my knowledge of anatomy at this level is weak. I had to retake the quiz quite a few times to get it right. I would definitely recommend this course to a therapist who has been working in a hands setting for a couple years or even a CHT because it does not seem like an entry level course.

    The detail presented in this course will help me when treatment planning and explaining anatomically to my patients about why they may have dysfunction following strains or other injuries to their finger tendons.
    (Posted on 4/14/2017)

  6. Review by Andrea

    I will use this information to treat all wrist and finger injuries as I have a better understanding how all the structures in the dorsa apparatus work together.
    (Posted on 2/17/2017)

  7. Challenging Review by Sandra

    Understanding of the muscle driving the motion will help in practice immediately.
    (Posted on 1/6/2017)

  8. complex subject understandable Review by Beth

    Judy really has a way of making this complex subject understandable! So many useful pearls to incorporate into my practice!
    (Posted on 12/29/2016)

  9. A nice in-depth study of how the fingers work together to create motion. Review by Cris

    Gain understanding of what muscles are working with specific hand exercises
    (Posted on 12/16/2016)

  10. I learned a lot! Review by Glenda

    This was a very helpful and through reviewed of anatomy and function of the subject matter. I learned a lot!
    (Posted on 11/7/2016)

  11. Review by Doris

    I loved the course! Judy is very knowledgeable and has the ability to teach that effectively. I felt like it was just a bit too fast, as I kept pausing to take notes, think about it, and review. I also wish that the PowerPoint slides, for printing, were done in a light color to reduce printer ink and demonstrate the structures more clearly.
    (Posted on 9/29/2016)

  12. Review by Gwyneth

    Incredible review of the anatomy and biomechanics of finger motion. A must see for for any new or seasoned therapist. Fantastic slides. Anatomical and biomechanical information presented in ways that greatly clarify the complexities of finger anatomy and motion.
    (Posted on 7/29/2016)

  13. Great course!! Review by Alan

    This course gave me an anatomy-like opportunity to delve into the finger and its dynamics. Awesome course!!
    (Posted on 12/23/2015)

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