Pediatric Rehabilitation

Constraint Induced Movement Therapy

Contact Information
(608) 263-8410

UW Health's pediatric rehabilitation specialists in Madison, Wisconsin, provide a multidisciplinary approach to your child's rehabilitation.

Referrals are made for Constraint Induced Movement Therapy involving the upper extremity (CIMT) when children with hemiplegia opt to undergo a limited time period of intensive focus on using the more affected arm and hand to perform daily activities (and not use the less affected arm).

CIMT helps the child use his/her affected hand more spontaneously in skilled movement  patterns for reach, grasp and release.

  • CIMT is provided for children with mild to moderate hemiplegia. The child should have a gross grasp and release (can be tenodesis) with the affected hand. Active antigravity shoulder flexion of 90, active antigravity biceps and triceps strength is recommended. The child should be ambulatory or have reasonable stability. CIMT will not be concurrent with lower extremity serial casting or other interventions that impact balance. The affected arm should have intact sensation. The child should have access to Occupational Therapy a minimum of 3 times per week during the CIMT trial. Caregivers provide additional support and assistance.
  • CIMT is a treatment technique that requires constraining use of the child’s less affected hand in order to force use of the hand with abnormal increased muscle tone.
    Duration of CIMT is generally from 10 days to 3 weeks, often done 1 to 6 weeks post Botox injections.
  • Individualized tools are provided including activities and strategies for a safe supportive and challenging environment during CIMT.
  • Pre- and Post Testing includes but is not limited to using the Functional Task Questionnaire, Child Arm Use Test, Taxonomy of Functional Tasks for Young Children, Pediatric Motor Activity Log.
  • Consultation with community therapists, teachers, and/or care-takers is done.