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Horseback Riding Therapy in Addition to Conventional Rehabilitation Program Decreases Spasticity in Children With Cerebral Palsy: A Small Sample Study

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Horseback Riding Therapy in Addition to Conventional Rehabilitation Program Decreases Spasticity in Children With Cerebral Palsy: A Small Sample Study

Ebru Alemdaroğlu et al. Complement Ther Clin Pract.

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the short-term effects of horseback riding therapy in addition to a conventional rehabilitation program in children with cerebral palsy.

Methods: Nine children receiving horseback riding therapy in addition to conventional rehabilitation (Group 1) and seven children receiving conventional rehabilitation alone (Group 2) were assessed at baseline and 5 weeks later. Assessed were: modified functional reach test (MFRT), hip abduction angle, the Ashworth Scale for hip adductor muscle spasticity, knee distance test, and the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS).

Results: The percentage change in hip adductor spasticity on the Ashworth Scale was 22% in Group 1 and 0% in Group 2 (significant difference; p = 0.016). Comparison of changes on the MFRT, GMFCS, knee distance test and hip abduction angle showed that the differences between Groups 1 and 2 were not significant.

Conclusions: In these children, horseback riding therapy in addition to conventional rehabilitation resulted in significant improvement in adductor spasticity on short-term follow-up.

Keywords: Cerebral palsy; Horseback riding therapy; Spasticity.

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