About Modified Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT)
Modified Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) is an intervention for treating hemiplegia/hemiparesis. This short-term, intensive treatment model is based on overcoming learned non-use in the weaker arm/hand and improving motor skills and coordination in this arm/hand. This is achieved through placing a splint or cast on the stronger arm/hand for a three-week period while incorporating intensive motor training with other arm/hand.
How Does Modified CIMT Work?
Modified CIMT influences the brain to develop connectivity that improves motor function. In other words, the brain changes itself when the affected extremity is involved in periods of intensive, repetitive and graded activity.
Who Qualifies for Modified CIMT?
Children need to have a basic grasp/release to be eligible for the program. They also need to be safe for mobility while having one hand in a cast. Although the exercises will be child-directed and play-orientated, the child should be motivated by playing with toys to be able to carry out the program.
How Often Does the Child Come to Therapy?
The family comes in for an initial occupational therapy evaluation, a modified constraint induced therapy session and then a casting session. (The cast is removable by soaking it in a water/vinegar mixture if family needs to remove it in case of an emergency.)
The treatment includes a three-week period of at least two hours of direct, one-to-one treatment three times per week, with the family following along with a home program routine. It may be recommended that the child receive a higher frequency of therapy or continue in therapy for a longer period of time. A three month follow-up appointment is recommended.
While in the literature there is a wide range in the amount of treatment, the proposed treatment regimen at Courage Center will be in the middle range of treatment frequency.
Paying for CIMT
Talk to your insurance company to determine if they will pay. The therapist will get the doctor’s order and send information for approval to the insurance company after the evaluation. (You may choose to pay privately if your insurance will not cover CIMT.)