Friday, May 4, 2012

Hippotherapy and Balance

Physical Therapy published research on the effects of hippotherapy on balance.  Sixteen children with documented balance problems participated in 45 minute hippotherapy sessions, 2 times per week for 6 weeks.  Following the intervention the participants exhibited a statistical difference on the Pediatric Balance Scale (PBS) on the Activities Scale for Kids—Performance (ASKp).  The researchers concluded that hippotherapy may be a viable strategy for reducing balance deficits and improving the performance of daily life skills in children with mild to moderate balance problems.

Reference:  Debbie J. Silkwood-Sherer et al. Hippotherapy—An Intervention to Habilitate Balance Deficits in Children With Movement Disorders: A Clinical Trial.  PHYS THER May 2012 92:707-717; published ahead of print January 12, 2012, doi:10.2522/ptj.20110081

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