Conditions CIMT is suitable for

CIMT is a combination of therapies, including restraint of the non-affected hand and intensive, functional training of the affected one.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy (CP) is the result of damage to the premature brain, either during pregnancy, birth or early infant years. CP can lead to muscle weakness, incoordination of movements and affected muscle tone. CP can affect all four limbs (quadriplegia), lower limbs only (diplegia) or one side of the body (hemiplegia). CIMT is suitable for hemiplegic CP and specific quadriplegic cases.

The phenomenon observed in children with hemiplegia, who get used to ignoring their affected arm and hand as they grow up, has been termed as “developmental disregard”. Even children with minor hand movement difficulties tend to progressively learn to compensate using techniques of unilateral hand function during everyday activities, such as play. This compensation leads to further functional decrements as the muscles lose more of their strength, being underused. Research studies on children with CP have shown substantial improvements in quantity and quality of hand movement after application of CIMT. Our therapists’ evaluation will determine whether CIMT might be beneficial for you.

Cerebrovascular Accident (Stroke)

A stroke usually results in movement difficulties in one side of the body (hemiplegia). Early after the incident, movement of the affected hand is clumsy and inefficient leading to unconscious avoidance of this part of the body and use of the healthy hand throughout most everyday activities. This compensation leads to further functional decrements as the muscles lose more of their strength, being underused.

CIMT has been primarily designed for people after stroke, in whom “learned non-use” of the hemiplegic hand is obvious after some time from the initial incidence. A large body of research has tested the effects of CIMT in stroke patients; the findings reveal substantial improvements in arm and hand movement, even when the patient seems to have reached a functional plateau long time ago. Our therapists’ evaluation will determine whether CIMT might be beneficial for you.

Brachial plexus injury-BPI (Obstetrical Palsy)

The brachial plexus is responsible for sensory and movement innervation of the entire upper limb. Lesions of the brachial plexus can lead to severe functional impairment. Obstetrical Palsy is a special type of BPI that occurs during the birthing process and affects all or part of the infant’s arm and hand.

People with BPI or children with Obstetrical Palsy tend to unconsciously avoid use of the affected arm/ hand and progressively learn to compensate using techniques of unilateral hand function during everyday activities. This compensation leads to further functional decrements as the muscles lose more of their strength, being underused. Research studies have shown substantial improvements in quantity and quality of hand movement after application of CIMT in people appearing with “learned non-use” of the affected side. Our therapists’ evaluation will determine whether CIMT might be beneficial for you.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic, auto-immune condition which means that for some unidentified reason the body triggers an inflammatory response affecting the nerves in the brain and/ or spinal cord. This can affect a person’s movements as the brain is unable to effectively transmit the messages to the nerves supplying the muscles. Movements may be slower and uncoordinated leading to functional problems with one or both arms during everyday activities.

It is known that people who have arm and hand weakness are more likely to compensate during functional activities by using their stronger arm. The reason for this is that movement of the weaker arm and hand may be slower or demanding greater effort, thus causing frustration. This condition progressively results in “forgetting” use of the weaker hand and spontaneously using only the healthy hand to accomplish everyday activities. This compensation leads to further functional decrements as the muscles lose more of their strength, being underused.

CIMT is a treatment technique which can be used to help overcome the weakness experienced as a result of MS. Our therapists’ evaluation will determine whether CIMT might be beneficial for you.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Traumatic brain injury may occur in the area of the brain responsible for controlling movements in the arm and hand, leading to hemiplegia. It is known that people who have arm and hand weakness are more likely to compensate during functional activities by using their stronger arm. The reason for this is that movement of the weaker arm and hand may be slower or demanding greater effort, thus causing frustration. This condition progressively results in “forgetting” use of the weaker hand and spontaneously using only the healthy hand to accomplish everyday activities. This compensation leads to further functional decrements as the muscles lose more of their strength, being underused.

CIMT is a form of intensive treatment for people with TBI who have shown recovery or preservation of some movements in the affected arm and hand. Some research studies have examined the effects of CIMT on adults and children with acquired brain injuries and showed improvements in the affected hand’s quantity and quality of movement. The magnitude of the effects was found to be irrelevant to the time interval since the occurrence of the injury. Our therapists’ evaluation will determine whether CIMT might be beneficial for you.