Document Detail

Does horseback riding therapy or therapist-directed hippotherapy rehabilitate children with cerebral palsy?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17209981     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Quantitative (not qualitative) studies were sought investigating whether horseback riding used as therapy improves gross motor function in children with cerebral palsy (CP). Eleven published studies on instructor-directed, recreational horseback riding therapy (HBRT) and licensed-therapist-directed hippotherapy were identified, reviewed, and summarized for research design, methodological quality, therapy regimen, internal/external validity, results, and authors'conclusions. Methodological quality was moderate to good for all studies; some studies were limited by small sample size or lack of non-riding controls. HBRT improved gross motor function in five of six studies (one study was inconclusive); hippotherapy improved gross motor function in all five studies. The studies found that during HBRT and hippotherapy: (1) the three-dimensional, reciprocal movement of the walking horse produced normalized pelvic movement in the rider, closely resembling pelvic movement during ambulation in individuals without disability; (2) the sensation of smooth, rhythmical movements made by the horse improved co-contraction, joint stability, and weight shift, as well as postural and equilibrium responses; and (3) that HBRT and hippotherapy improved dynamic postural stabilization, recovery from perturbations, and anticipatory and feedback postural control. The evidence suggests that HBRT and hippotherapy are individually efficacious, and are both medically indicated as therapy for gross motor rehabilitation in children with CP. Recommendations for future research are discussed.
John A Sterba
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Developmental medicine and child neurology     Volume:  49     ISSN:  0012-1622     ISO Abbreviation:  Dev Med Child Neurol     Publication Date:  2007 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-01-09     Completed Date:  2007-02-15     Revised Date:  2009-11-11    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0006761     Medline TA:  Dev Med Child Neurol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  68-73     Citation Subset:  IM    
Research Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Developmental Pediatrics and Rehabilitation, Robert Warner Rehabilitation Center, Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo, NY, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Cerebral Palsy / rehabilitation*
Exercise Therapy / methods*
Professional-Patient Relations*
Psychomotor Performance
Treatment Outcome

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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