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Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injury may occur due to a direct trauma or various infections. Following a spinal cord injury a person may experience varying degrees of upper limb weakness depending on the level at which the damage to the spinal cord has occurred. If one upper limb is affected more than the other the person may then compensate by using their less affected or stronger arm. Although this may be quicker and more efficient, failing to involve the weaker side means that there is less opportunity to practice and therefore less chance of recovering meaningful use. This is often referred to as 'learned non-use'.

A CIMT patient with their physiotherapist using Connect4 as a tool

CIMT programmes are suitable for those with weakness in one side of their body, but they must have a small degree of movement in the arm before treatment. People with very limited movement in the hand or arm may find it too difficult to participate.

CIMT involves wearing a restraint mitt on the stronger side for 90% of the waking hours, therefore it is also important to consider any impacts upon mobility and safety (eg if the stronger arm is relied upon for balance). Our CIMT therapists will discuss with you how appropriate a CIMT programme may be during a free telephone consultation.

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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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