Constraint Induced Movement Therapy
Our therapists help children with conditions that affect use of a hand or arm strengthen their movement and coordination skills.
For children who have limited use of one arm and hand due to a medical condition or injury, constraint induced movement therapy (CIMT) helps them to expand and strengthen their ability to use the affected arm and hand. Specific exercises will help your child to learn new and correct patterns of movement, teaching the brain to “rewire” itself.
CIMT can help children improve:
- The quality of movement in the affected arm and hand
- Use of the affected arm and hand in activities of daily living, such as self-care, feeding and dressing
- Coordination skills
- Fine motor skills
A specially trained occupational therapist will create a treatment plan specific to your child’s needs. The higher functioning arm is put in a temporary cast to allow the affected arm to perform activities and exercises. These therapeutic “shaping” activities allow the child to form new, more correct movements with that arm and increase its use.
The program runs three hours a day, five days a week for three weeks. Your child’s occupational therapist will also teach you extensive home exercises for you to do daily with your child. Six months after completing this program, most children maintain the majority of the skills they gained during the therapy.
Candidates for CIMT are children who:
- Are 18 months or older
- Have limited functional use of one hand and arm
- Have a diagnosis such as cerebral palsy, stroke, head injury or brachial plexus injury
- Are able to follow directions and maintain attention for at least 15 minutes
- Have caregivers available to participate in therapy sessions and complete extensive home programming
Before making an appointment, you will need to complete an application to determine if your child is a candidate for CIMT. For more information on CIMT or to receive an application, call the phone number below. You can also download the application online.
Medical records may be faxed to 727-767-8847. A physician referral is required for this therapy.