The effect of hippotherapy on spasticity and on mental well-being of persons with spinal cord injury.

Lechner HE, Kakebeeke TH, Hegemann D, Baumberger M

The aim of the study was to determine the effect of hippotherapy on spasticity and on mental well-being of persons with spinal cord injury (SCI), and to compare it with the effects of other interventions. A volunteer sample of 12 people with spastic SCI (American Spinal Injury Association grade A or B) participated. The interventions employed were hippotherapy, sitting astride a Bobath roll, or sitting on a stool with rocking seat. Each session lasted 25 minutes and was conducted twice weekly for 4 weeks; the control condition was spasticity measurement without intervention. Following the intervention, the authors concluded that hippotherapy was more efficient than sitting astride a Bobath roll or on a rocking seat in reducing spasticity temporarily. Hippotherapy had a positive short-term effect on subjects' mental well-being.

Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2007, 88(10), 1241-8

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