CIMT - Constraint Induced Movement Therapy

Innovative Therapies

Innovative Therapies

CIMT - Constraint Induced Movement Therapy

Some parts of the body can become paralyzed after neurological diseases, such as a stroke. A state-of-the-art, clinically tested method has been developed for several years to treat motor functional deficits: CIMT therapy (Constrained Induced Movement Therapy). This form of treatment is considered to be occupational therapy.

The hypothesis for the development of the CIMT was based on neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to reconfigure and adapt to changes in the environment. The first clinical study of CIMT was completed in 1993, and since then, this approach has been widely used in clinical practice.

The aim is for the affected body parts to be moved and trained intensively so that they can be fully used again in everyday life. In this way, patients can be helped to regain their independence and improve their quality of life.

Where does CIMT come from?

The American psychologist Dr. Edward Taub developed the technique in the 1980s. He believed that stroke victims often do not use or stop using the affected body parts because the difficulties involved and recurring negative experiences discourage them from using them. This “learned non-use,” Taub argued, further worsened the paralysis.

What happens at the CIMT?

Patients who, for example, show “learned non-use” after a stroke should learn arm and hand functions again through forced use of the affected arm and integrate its use again into everyday life.

At Kliniken Schmieder, the unaffected arm is immobilized with a splint/bandage during the training phase. This means the patient wears a brace/arm bandage or a glove on the healthy, non-paralyzed arm for most of the day. Your task is now to use the affected arm for all everyday activities as much as possible and to carry out the self-training led by the therapists.

In addition, there is an intensive arm exercise under therapeutic guidance at the Kliniken Schmieder. Here, everyday fine and gross motor skills training, characterized above all by many repetitions, is carried out in individual and group therapy.

When are patients ready for CIMT?

The training is very strenuous and intensive, which is why the therapy is recommended for therapeutically resilient patients with a very high level of therapy motivation. The affected body part should meet certain minimum mobility criteria to do this. This therapy variant is not recommended in the case of a pronounced speech disorder (aphasia) or reduced brain performance (e.g., attention, memory).

For which patients is the CIMT suitable?

CIMT can be used for various diseases of the central nervous system:

  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Brain haemorrhage
  • Traumatic brain injury

How long does the CIMT last?

As a rule, the training phases of the CIMT during rehabilitation at the Kliniken Schmieder consist of targeted therapy units and guided self-training. On average, patients train 2-6 hours a day.

The Kliniken Schmieder focuses on a holistic, interdisciplinary, innovative, and personalised rehabilitation concept for the patient, developed by professors, doctors, therapists, and nurses.
CIMT represents one of the possible therapy methods of occupational therapy from a multitude of therapy variants at the Kliniken Schmieder. Our experts of doctors and therapists decide individually and depending on the course of the patient’s illness whether the form of therapy with CIMT is used and is conducive to the desired physical improvement.