Published on March 02, 2012

Constraint Induced Movement Therapy offered at Genesis Outpatient Rehabilitation

Genesis Outpatient Rehabilitation now offers a new rehabilitation program aimed at improving the function of a person’s weaker limb following a stroke, brain injury, brain tumor, or similar illness.

Constraint Induced Movement Therapy has gained popularity as a method to promote increased motion and strength following paralysis of a limb. Genesis is the first in the Quad Cities to offer the program for adults. The therapy also is available to pediatric therapy patients.

Modified Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT), an intensive and innovative form of occupational and physical therapy treatment, involves forced use of the weaker limb to improve function.

Modified CIMT is based on Constraint Induced Movement Therapy developed by Dr. Edward Taub, a behavioral neuroscientist who completed extensive research on the brain's ability to “rewire” itself after illness or injury to the brain.

How does CIMT treatment work?

When a person is unable to use the affected limb successfully, “learned nonuse” occurs. It's only natural for the person to favor the unaffected limb. Restriction of the unaffected limb overcomes learned non-use. Using the affected limb during functional activities, increases nerve activity to the brain called “cortical reorganization."

Sustained and repetitive practice of functional movement can lead to recruitment of new areas of the brain to aid in control of motor function called “neuroplasticity”.

What benefits are gained from CIMT?

Participants gain improved awareness, movement, coordination, and functional use of their weaker limb. They also may notice improvements with balance, core strength, and functional mobility.

Who qualifies for CIMT?

Individuals must meet certain requirements for the treatment to be beneficial. Comprehensive evaluation with a licensed therapist will be completed to determine strengths, weaknesses, and appropriateness for the program. Some active shoulder, elbow, and finger movement must be present. Participants must have the ability to follow directions and not have any significant memory problems. Significant pain or severe hearing or visual deficits may limit participation, as well.

The Genesis program offers intensive group outpatient therapy five days per week, three hours daily for six weeks. Participants wear a constraint on their stronger extremity at least six hours daily to force use of the weaker extremity. Home exercise and journal activities are required.

Genesis Outpatient Rehabilitation offers CIMT treatment at the Maplecrest and Valley Fair locations. For more information, call the Bettendorf location at (563) 421-3460 or the Davenport location at (563) 421-3495.

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