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Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis or “MS” is a chronic condition affecting the brain and/or spinal cord. Multiple Sclerosis is an auto-immune condition which means that for some unidentified reason the body triggers an inflammatory response affecting the protective sheath of the nerves in the central nervous system. 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, uncoordinated or in severe cases, impossible leading to many functional problems. The person may have difficulties with one or both arms leading to problems with dressing, eating, reaching or carrying.

CIMT physical activity game to strengthen weaker hand

Constraint induced movement therapy is a treatment technique which can be used to help overcome the weakness experienced as a result of Multiple Sclerosis. It is known that people who have arm and hand weakness are more likely to compensate during functional activities by using their stronger arm. This is because movements using the weaker arm may be slower and require more effort causing frustration and a negative experience. As a result the person will neglect to use their weaker arm causing learned non-use. Over time the person uses their weaker arm less and less which can cause further weakness as a result of fewer opportunities to stimulate the nerves and muscles in the arm.

Constraint induced movement therapy is suitable for people with progressive or relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. CIMT may be used during rehabilitation following a relapse where a person has a new onset of weakness affecting their arm or in people whose arm has become gradually weaker as a result of the MS. The main criteria for inclusion in the programme is that there is one arm notably weaker than the other and there is a degree of existing movement prior to treatment. Constraint induced movement therapy is less effective in people with both upper limbs affected or severe weakness as a result of MS, however our specialist CIMT therapists will determine suitability during the telephone consultation. Alternative treatments may be recommended to help improve arm weakness if a person is not suitable for CIMT.

Our constraint induced movement therapy programmes are delivered intensively over a 2-3 week period for several hours a day. Our CIMT programmes can be modified for people who experience fatigue as a result of their MS by providing rest breaks as needed. Our specialist CIMT therapists will provide the necessary support and advice to facilitate success of the programme.

To find out more about CIMT for Multiple Sclerosis please call 0330 223 0077 today to speak to one of our specialist CIMT therapists

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