Hippotherapy effects on trunk, pelvic, and hip motion during ambulation in children with neurological impairments

Jenna L. Encheff, Charles Armstrong, Michelle Masterson, Christine Fox, Phillip Gribble

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

PURPOSE: This study investigated the effects of a 10-week hippotherapy program on trunk, pelvis, and hip joint positioning during the stance phase of gait. METHODS: Eleven children (6 boys and 5 girls; 7.9 ± 2.7 years) with neurological disorders and impaired ambulation participated. Joint range of motion data were collected via 3-dimensional computerized gait analysis before and after the program. Paired t tests were performed on kinematic data for each joint. RESULTS: Significant improvements (P ≤ .008) and large effect sizes (ESs) for sagittal plane hip positions at initial contact and toe-off were found. No differences in pelvic or trunk positioning were determined, although sagittal plane pelvic positioning displayed a trend toward improvement with large ESs. Several trunk variables displayed moderate ESs with a trend toward more upright positioning. CONCLUSIONS: Improvements in pelvic and hip joint positioning and more normalized vertical trunk position may indicate increased postural control during gait after 10 sessions of hippotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-250
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Physical Therapy
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

Keywords

  • child
  • equine-assisted therapy
  • gait
  • hippotherapy
  • kinematics
  • neurologic disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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