[Purpose] This case series aims to evaluate the effects of hippotherapy on gait and balance ability of children and adolescents with cerebral palsy using quantitative parameters for physical activity. [Subjects and Methods] Three patients with gait disability as a sequela of cerebral palsy (one female and two males; age 5, 12, and 25 years old) were recruited. Participants received hippotherapy for 30 min once a week for 2 years. Gait parameters (step rate, step length, gait speed, mean acceleration, and horizontal/vertical displacement ratio) were measured using a portable motion recorder equipped with a tri-axial accelerometer attached to the waist before and after a 10-m walking test. [Results] There was a significant increase in step length between before and after a single hippotherapy session. Over the course of 2 year intervention, there was a significant increase in step rate, gait speed, step length, and mean acceleration and a significant improvement in horizontal/vertical displacement ratio. [Conclusion] The data suggest that quantitative parameters derived from a portable motion recorder can track both immediate and long-term changes in the walking ability of children and adolescents with cerebral palsy undergoing hippotherapy.
- Cerebral palsy
- Gait analysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation