According to a recent study, children with cerebral palsy are seeing improvements in gait symmetry due to hippotherapy, a popular type of animal-assisted therapy that involves horseback riding. It’s exciting news for families who have loved ones diagnosed with cerebral palsy, which is a collection of neurological disorders that affect posture and restrict body movement due to brain lesions from fetal development or infancy.
In the past, hippotherapy has been proven to show improvements in muscle strength, posture, and motor function in children who have cerebral palsy. Now, advancement in gait symmetry can be added to the list of ways this unique therapy that incorporates horseback riding is nothing-less-than astonishing. A team of researchers in Japan at the Tohoku University conducted tests to analyze the gait symmetry of a select group of children with cerebral palsy who also have been receiving hippotherapy in comparison to those who have not. In the study, age-matched children who do not have cerebral palsy were used as a control for the study.
Although these recent findings are encouraging for the children with cerebral palsy and for their loved ones, challenges still exist for families to take advantage of this therapy. Foremost, the availability of hippotherapy is quite limited based on geographic location, relatively high costs, and unpredictable weather. However, it is believed among experts that hippotherapy is an extremely valuable rehab method for children with cerebral palsy to improve gait function and work towards trunk symmetry of the body. Hurdles aside, this groundbreaking improvement to the quality of life for children with cerebral palsy certainly offers an opportunity to be hopeful and inspired.
Call The CP Experts
If you do find yourself struggling with a recent diagnosis of cerebral palsy for your child or loved one, turn to the law offices of Gershon, Willoughby & Getz, LLC, a top cerebral palsy law firm in the country. We are experts of cerebral palsy cases and here to help you through the often delicate process with profound knowledge, professionalism, concern, and patience that proves invaluable at this difficult time. Call us today to reach our renowned cerebral palsy attorneys or browse our website to find out more about assessing a possible malpractice case, past settlements, and helpful resources for families of cerebral palsy.