Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT)


CIMT was pioneered by therapists working in the rehabilitation of stroke victims.  The technique involves immobilisation of healthy limbs with the use of splints or a sling. The affected or damaged limb is left free to perform tasks unaided. Repetitive use of the affected limb in this way is thought to create new neural pathways in the brain.  This process of cortical reorganisation is referred to as neuroplasticity.


There have been trials that indicate CIMT could have benefits for sufferers of focal dystonia, especially pianists and guitarists.  As well as the trials I have seen some anecdotal evidence posted online that suggests CIMT can be employed without the use of splints and still prove effective in rehabilitation.


The symptoms in focal dystonia are obviously different to those of stroke victims. When CIMT is used to treat FD, it is the compensatory fingers that are restrained.


Paul, a pianist user of the MFD online forum, has updated own his methods and success with CIMT.




 Click here to see a video demonstrtating a splint in action, from Patrice Berque