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, 46 (5), 506-509

Effect of Hippotherapy on Gait Symmetry in Children With Cerebral Palsy: A Pilot Study

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Effect of Hippotherapy on Gait Symmetry in Children With Cerebral Palsy: A Pilot Study

Tomoko Mutoh et al. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol.

Abstract

We aimed to investigate the effect of hippotherapy on gait symmetry in children with cerebral palsy (CP). Twelve children with Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) levels II-IV received weekly hippotherapy lesson for 1 year. Gait analyses were performed during a 5-m walking test, using a portable, tri-axial accelerometer-based motion recorder. The baseline symmetry index derived from the Lissajous index (LI) figure before hippotherapy was greater than the LI in age-matched normal subjects (P < 0.01). Hippotherapy was associated with a decreased LI (-10.4 ± 4.9%, P = 0.018) and an improved GMFCS score (-0.6 ± 0.7, P = 0.02). These data suggest that hippotherapy has a beneficial effect on symmetry of the trunk movement in children with CP.

Keywords: animal-assisted therapy; cerebral palsy; gait analysis; hippotherapy; trunk symmetry.

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