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Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (“CIMT” or “CI Therapy”) provides effective rehabilitation for children with neurological conditions who have one arm that is weaker than the other.

CIMT involves intensive practice with the affected side, while restraining the unaffected side in a light weight cast. The cast is worn 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the duration of the CIMT programme (3 or 4 weeks). The purpose of the cast is to allow complete focus on the affected side, without distracting the child. By using a cast we ensure consistent attention on the unaffected side, which has been shown to influence cortical reorganisation.

Every child that we have worked with has adapted quickly to wearing the cast and there are no detrimental effects on the child’s emotional well-being or on their unaffected side.

Young child sits patiently while her cast is applied

During the initial assessment your CIMT therapist will determine whether there would be any issues with applying a non-removable cast, for example a significant impact upon mobility. Your therapist will discuss any potential issues with you before booking a programme and suggest solutions that ensure the child’s safety and comfort. You will also be recommended a “cast protector” so that the child can bathe without getting the cast wet.

The cast

Casts are made from a light weight material with custom padding inside for comfort and can be covered in brightly coloured tape to make them more visually appealing.

Casting procedure

It takes less than one hour to complete a cast and this happens within the therapy session.

The first cast is made on day 1 of the CIMT programme. The casts are removed at the end of each week with specialist scissors so the arm can be cleaned and checked. Your therapist may choose to use some of those sessions to practice bilateral (two handed) play and functional tasks (eg eating with cutlery) while the cast is off.

Child with cast applied plays during an activity

A brand new cast is made at the end of each week. The old casts are turned into removable casts that can be used following the programme.

If you’d like to discuss the casting procedure further, please contact us to speak to a CIMT therapist.

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Will a cast be detrimental to my child?

The cast is light-weight and every child we’ve worked with has adapted quickly to it. There is no reduction in strength or movement of their casted arm.

The cast is changed weekly so skin can be checked and washed, and the arm stretched. The only incidents recorded are mild skin irritation, which is easily treated with a topical cream.

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Call Our Helpline Today

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