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Induced stress

General overview

Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (CIMS) or constraint physiotherapy is a rehabilitation technique invented in the United States in the 1990s. It consists of immobilizing the healthy arm so that compensatory solutions do not develop that will eventually harm the rehabilitation of the affected limb.

Main objectives of the method
  • This technique was initially created to enable people who have suffered a stroke (Cerebrovascular Accident) to improve the motor recovery of an arm that has lost all or part of its mobility as a result of the accident. It has given very good results in children with cerebral palsy.

Specificities of the method

The method consists of immobilizing the functional limb, and making the limb with a less developed motor function work intensively, through adapted exercises. 
A strong involvement of the therapist is necessary at the beginning of the method. This method can be practiced in a punctual or intensive way, i.e. several individualized work sessions per day for two to three weeks, i.e. up to 4 to 5 hours per day. 

Who is this method for ?

This method is not intended for children who are totally unable to move their arms, as it confronts them with their own incapacity. It is essential that the child be voluntary.

Scientific references
  • Search by keyword on: or or
    Induced-stress motor therapy and child motivation: a challenge for occupational therapists:
    The study highlights the importance of the collaboration of the child's entourage with the therapist in order to adapt his or her environment to this therapy. It is also important to set achievable and adapted goals to limit frustration, to include play in the exercises and to leave the child a large part of choice in the activities.

  • Coercion Induced Rehabilitation, Olivier Simon:
    The study focuses on the phenomenon of functional memory loss in the body, which does not know how to perform a gesture, or no longer knows how to do it, and will have to relearn it. 

To know more about the topic

Finding a therapist: occupational therapists can set up this method. 

Any remarks or comments ?

This work is based on a collaborative approach to sharing research and family experience.

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