The Journal of Physical Therapy Science published research examining the effects of neck and trunk stabilization exercises on hand function and visual perceptual skills in 11 school aged children with cerebral palsy (GMFCS I-III). Each participant was evaluated using the Jebson-Taylor hand function test and the Korean Developmental Test of Visual Perception-2 (K-DTVP-2) test. Kinesitherapy was implemented in individual sessions for eight weeks, twice a week, for 45 minutes at a time. The neck and trunk stabilization exercises were implemented according to the functioning and level of each child. Some of the exercises included: raising the head up in a modified bridge exercise posture, pushing the neck backward in order to activate the erector muscle of the cervical and upper thoracic vertebra and activating the deep abdominal muscles in the bridge exercise posture. Following the 8 week intervention, a post evaluation was performed. Data analysis revealed the following results:
- a significant effect in five subcategories of the Jebson-Taylor hand function test: short sentence writing, card turning, placing small objects into something, large & lightweight can lifting, large & heavyweight can lifting.
- there was a significant effect in visual motor speed on the K-DTVP-2 test.
The neck and trunk exercises used in this study helped improve short sentence writing, card turning, placing small objects into something, large & lightweight can lifting, large & heavyweight can lifting and visual motor speed.
Reference: Shin J-W, Song G-B. The effects of neck and trunk stabilization exercises on upper limb and visuoperceptual function in children with cerebral palsy. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 2016;28(11):3232-3235. doi:10.1589/jpts.28.3232.
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