The hand therapy is a health specialty dedicated to addressing medical pathologies that affect the patient’s upper limbs. Registered within the scope of the physiotherapy and occupational therapy, has been established for years in countries such as the United States or the United Kingdom. Although currently the health system does not grant such recognition in our country, it is one of the specialties most demanded by graduates.
«In Spain we are more and more hand therapists»reflect Rachel Canterophysiotherapist, occupational and hand therapist and director of the Diploma of Specialization in Hand Therapy Based on Evidence and Clinical Reasoning of the UNIA. «In countries like the United States or France, it is one more specialty with which to obtain superior recognition.r once physiotherapy or occupational therapy studies are completed. In Spain we are not there, but we do have more specialists. Each country is usually governed by an association. We do it for the Spanish Association of Hand Therapists. They are grouped in the International Federation, which holds its congresses every three years».
In the opinion of Dr. Cantero, the advantages are several: from “reduce downtime” to «exercise an early active mobilization, with which we bring recovery closer and we avoid sequelae to patients».
The specialty requires very specific training, in the opinion of the expert. “It falls under both physiotherapy and occupational therapy. But none of these careers provide sufficient training to treat pathologies in all their complexity », he assures. for the doctor, it is important to ensure the quality of this education relying solely on scientific evidence.
Thus, more and more graduates seek to complement their training, especially in South America, where therapy is well established but specialized training is scarce. The UNIA imparts this fall what will be the third edition of its Diploma of Specialization in Hand Therapy Based on Evidence and Clinical Reasoning, with Cantero at the helm as director and which has already completely sold out its places.
“Is a specific training that follows the regulations of the European Federation of Hand Therapists. It is offered remotely online, all classes are practical. The students receive materials at home with which to practice directly”, explains the doctor. The course addresses different angles of the specialty, such as biomechanical aspects of the hand, in Cantero’s opinion «the most unknown part but that helps us to carry out an approach from clinical reasoning». Also aspects of the traumatic hand, degenerative pathologies such as osteoarthritis or arthritis and neurological, such as those that can follow a stroke.
“We always rely on the evidence”, points out the specialist, who points to the splint and virtual reality as allies in this learning. The latter also has clinical applications. “It can be used in action therapieswith people who do not have mobility in the hand or do not control it».
Cantero points out that having had «carte blanche to have highly specialized teachers in their subjects. In the field of mechanics, for example, we have world pioneers in the study of carpal movements.
The expert believes that the demand for these professionals will continue to grow: «It is a specialty that requires a lot of training and opens doors for youbut it is in itself a formative process, ora gateway to continue specializing», he concludes.
Diploma of Specialization in Hand Therapy Based on Evidence and Clinical Reasoning
Starting next October, the UNIA will impart the third edition of its Diploma of Specialization in Hand Therapy Based on Evidence and Clinical Reasoning, training with which it intends to cover the high demand in this field. Taught virtually, se is aimed at graduates or diploma holders in physiotherapy or occupational therapyl, as well as rehabilitation doctors, and is equally open to students from South Americawhere the specialty is established but quality training is demanded.
The diploma thus offers a Highly specialized training by highly experienced teachers with an international background. Teachers include therapists and experts such as the traumatologist and expert in hand and wrist surgery Mireia Esplugas; surgeon and therapist Alex Lluch —in charge of the Hand, Wrist and Peripheral Nerve Unit of the Hospital Universitari Vall d’Hebron—; kristine valdes —associate professor at the University of Touro in Nevada, United States—; or the sports physical therapist and expert in hand, wrist and elbow Jesus Agueroamong others.
Diploma of Specialization in Hand Therapy based on reasoning and scientific evidence