Constraint induced movement therapy or CIMT is a physiotherapy technique used to improve a person’s upper limb function following neurological damage. After a neurological event, such as a stroke
. it is common for patients to develop learned non-use of their weaker arm. Research shows that intense repetitive task practice using the weaker arm can improve both the amount of use and quality of movement leading to improved function and independence
CIMT involves two main components:
- Restraint of the unaffected arm using a mitt, sling or cast to encourage use of the weaker arm
- Repetitive practice of functional tasks with the weaker hand. Activities may include picking up or stacking small objects and functional everyday tasks
CIMT is delivered intensively by a trained therapist for several hours a day over a two or three week period depending on the person’s initial level of hand function. The person is also set a number of home assignments to encourage use of their arm outside of the clinic whilst wearing the glove or mitt.
CIMT works by encouraging reorganisation of the brain so that a larger part becomes active when the person uses their weaker arm. The person also develops an improved awareness and motivation to use their weaker arm thereby overcoming the cycle of learned non-use.
To find out more about our CIMT programme please call Physio.co.uk today on 0330 088 7800
to speak to one of our specialist neurological physiotherapists.