Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy for Lower Extremity Function: Describing the LE-CIMT Protocol.
Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) is comprised of a set of techniques shown to produce significant changes in upper extremity (UE) function following stroke and other disorders. The significant positive results obtained with the UE protocol has led to the development of LE-CIMT, an intervention to improve lower extremity (LE) function. However, some modifications of the UE protocol were needed including: omitting use of a restraint device, development of supervised motor training tasks to emphasize movement of the lower limb, and adaptation of the UE Motor Activity Log (MAL) for the lower-extremity (LE-MAL). The LE-CIMT protocol includes: 1) intensive supervised training delivered for 3.5 h/day for10 consecutive weekdays, 2) use of shaping as a strategy for motor training, 3) application of a transfer package, and 4) strongly encouraging use of the more affected LE with improved coordination. The transfer package consists of several strategies to facilitate transfer of the improved motor skills developed during supervised treatment to everyday situations. Research to date has yielded positive results. However, the intervention protocol continues to evolve. The purpose of this article is to describe the components of the complete LE-CIMT protocol in order to promote further development and investigation of this approach.