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Home Practice

Constraint induced movement therapy (“CIMT” or “CI Therapy”) involves intensive practice with an affected arm and hand while wearing a constraint mitt on the unaffected side. CIMT programmes are between 2 to 3 weeks, with therapy sessions lasting 3 hours a day, 5 days a week.

The constraint mitt is worn for 90% of the waking hours for the full duration of the programme, including weekends. Therefore you are expected to continue to practice with your affected arm even outside of therapy.

During your therapy session, your therapist will allocate you specific tasks to practice at home each day. The tasks tend to be “functional”, meaning they are everyday tasks. For example, you might be asked to load and unload a washing machine, or take items in and out of a cupboard. You will be given a timeframe to practice these tasks, usually between 15 to 30 minutes per task.

CIMT patient uses constraint mitt with the help of her personal physiotherapist

The aim of home practice is to consolidate the improvements you make in therapy with useful everyday movements. The more you practice, the better you will become. Your therapist will select tasks that work on specific components of arm and hand function (eg strength, dexterity, co-ordination, range of movement) and combine them with your own individual goals, hobbies and interests.

It is the intensive, repetitive practice of using the affected arm that will help to drive the improvements. Your progress with a CIMT programme will be influenced by how much practice you are able to put in outside of your therapy sessions. Your CIMT therapist will give you guidance, encouragement and motivation to continue working at home. We recognise that a CIMT programme is difficult, tiring and frustrating and your therapist will adapt programmes to manage fatigue where necessary.

To find out more about what is involved with a constraint induced movement therapy programme, contact us to speak to one of our CIMT therapists.





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Is funding for CIMT available?

We are always happy to provide the background information and evidence to support funding requests, whether they are through charities or clinical commissioning groups. We can discuss funding options with patients or any of their healthcare team.

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Call us on 0330 223 0077 or email to speak to one of our specialist CIMT therapists.

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