Who is suitable?
Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (“CI Therapy”, “CIMT”) is suitable for adults with upper limb weakness following injury or damage to the brain or spinal cord.
Our CIMT programmes are suitable for:
Any age: We work with children from the ages of 18 months. For adults there is no upper age limit – CIMT has been carried out successfully with adults in their 80s and beyond!
Hemiplegia presentation: Constraint induced movement therapy is designed to help people who have just one affected upper limb. It is not an appropriate treatment when both upper limbs are affected. We can work with adults who have additional complications such as mobility or communication difficulties. Your CIMT therapist will determine whether the use of a constraint mitt will impact severely on your mobility or cause a safety issue (for example when using a walking aid) and advise you of your suitability for the programme.
Hemiplegia presentation. Constraint induced movement therapy is a rehabilitation tool for children who have one affected upper limb and one unaffected upper limb. It is not an appropriate treatment when both upper limbs are affected. The child’s mobility does not affect the CIMT programme, or any other complications of their condition. We have worked with children who are not mobile, PEG fed and who cannot verbally communicate.
Some active movement in the wrist and fingers: To be able to take part in a CIMT programme you will need a small amount of active movement in your wrist and fingers. You will need to be able to lift your wrist a small amount, and open your fingers a small amount without physical help. If you are not sure whether you will have enough movement, you can discuss this further in a free telephone consultation with one of our CIMT therapists.
Ability to follow instructions: A CIMT programme is intensive and requires effort and concentration. You will need to be able to follow instructions from your therapist to complete simple exercises over a sustained period of time.
At least 6 months after a neurological injury: Our programmes are suitable for people who are at least 6 months post-injury. This is because the programme focuses entirely on the arm and is very intensive – often within the first 6 months there are other difficulties that need to be addressed and fatigue can be a major symptom. After 6 months there is no time limit on when a CIMT programme can take place. Constraint induced movement therapy has achieved the same significant results for adults up to ten years post-stroke! CIMT has also been used in adults who acquired their hemiplegia in childhood.
Constraint induced movement therapy has been used for adults with a variety of neurological conditions. There are many conditions that can cause a hemiplegic presentation. To find out more information about conditions that CIMT can help, see conditions.