Indications and effectiveness of hippotherapy
Hippotherapy can be used as an addition to regular therapies. Hippotherapy improves balance an muscle control. Studies show that hippotherapy shortens recovery times from various disorders and pathologic conditions.
Horses are used for a variety of reasons. For starters, the rhythmic movement stimulates anterior and posterior swinging movements. Next to that, the movement stimulates the patient to achieve a proper balance and posture. Moreover, the horse provides a large spectrum of sensory and motor input.
According to this article, a hippotherapy team should consist of a therapist, a horse carer and the patient. Hippotherapy can be used for different indications such as: cerebral palsy, traumatic brain damage, eating disorders, down syndrome, autistic behavioral disorders, muscular dystrophy, amputee patients, cerebrovascular diseases, spinal cord diseases, rheumatic joint disease, mental problems and even more indications.
Hippotherapy can be helpful for occupational therapists, physiotherapists and even speech and language therapists. The effectiveness of hippotherapy has been confirmed in a large patient group, if the therapy is applied by an experienced and trained therapist with the aid of a horse.
Want to know more about hippotherapy? Visit the website of the American Hippotherapy Association!
> From: Koca et al., North Clin Istanb 2 (2015) 247-252. All rights reserved to Istanbul Northern Anatolian Association of Public Hospitals. Click here for the online summary.