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Top Stroke Rehabil. 2001 Autumn;8(3):16-30.

Constraint-induced therapy approach to restoring function after neurological injury.

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  • 1Department of Physical Therapy, University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA.


Traditional rehabilitation programs for persons with neurologic dysfunction emphasize a compensation, true recovery, or substitution approach to improve functional abilities. Constraint-induced (CI) movement therapy substantially increases more-affected extremity use in the life situation due to the influence of two different underlying mechanisms: overcoming learned nonuse and inducing use-dependent cortical reorganization. In this way, it bypasses the debate over whether a compensation, true recovery, or substitution approach should be used. The purposes of this article are to describe the CI therapy approach, discuss its proposed modes of action, and discuss other unique aspects of CI therapy as a rehabilitation technique.

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