Constraint- induced therapy is a type of therapeutic method in which the patient is restricted from using his or her unaffected hand during therapeutic tasks, but instead using their affected hand. It is a fairly new therapy and is applied to individuals who have had a stroke, multiple sclerosis, and traumatic brain injury. Constraint- induced therapy can be frustrating for the patient because it can be difficult to maneuver their limb in a way in which he or she can complete activities in the therapy sessions. It’s understandable though. It can be tempting to use the unaffected hand. It would be way easier if that was the case.
The ultimate goal behind constraint- induced therapy is to teach the brain to rewire itself after an injury to the brain. These types of therapies have significantly improved the quality of movement and the amount of use of the affected arm or leg for basic activities of daily living in patients who have been treated. Constraint- induced therapy is the only therapeutic technique to be known to change the organization of activity in the brain and remodel brain structures.
What happens during constraint- induced therapy is the patient’s unaffected limb will be put in a cast or sling to prevent him or her from using it during therapy.