What is CIMT?

Constraint-Induced Movement therapy (CIMT/ CIT) or CI therapy is a new therapeutic approach to rehabilitation of hand and arm movement after stroke, cerebral palsy, brachial plexus injury, multiple sclerosis (MS) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). CI therapy consists of a family of treatments that teach the brain to “rewire” itself following a neurological injury. CI therapy is based on research by Prof. Edward Taub and his collaborators at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA that showed that patients can learn to improve movement of the weaker part of their bodies.

CIMT is a 2-3 week treatment program that includes restraint of the non-affected hand for most of the waking hours and intensive practice of the affected one for specific hours per day. Practice is focused on everyday activities that are important for the patient and takes place in the clinic and at home. The daily home-based program is tailor made to match each person’s abilities and interests.

Conditions CIMT is suitable for

CIMT is suitable for adults and children that face movement difficulties (mostly) with their one arm and hand. This might have been the result of a central or peripheral neurological damage.

Although CIMT has been primarily designed for hemiplegia (muscle weakness and movement difficulties of the one side of the body), it can also be effective in quadriplegia when the one side of the body is the one that causes the main dysfunction. In general, CIMT is suitable for any case that non-use of the one arm/ hand affects the person’s independency in everyday activities.

The usual conditions that we treat are the following:

How Effective Is CIMT?

CIMT is the only rehabilitative technique that is evidence based to substantially improve arm and hand movement in both adults and children in a 2-3 week period. A large, supporting body of research studies is available, some of which are large sampled randomized controlled trials. The most important finding from research studies and clinical observations is that improvements last for months or years after termination of the CIMT program.

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