Cerebral Palsy is a condition caused by brain damage that can affect posture, movement, and cognition. Horseplay Therapy provides both traditional physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy for little ones with cerebral palsy as well as Hippotherapy. Each therapist uses the horse to provide challenging, engaging, and enjoyable activities that improve muscle tone, posture, communication and language, and walking abilities.
How does Hippotherapy work in kids with cerebral palsy?
The horse’s movement is in a rhythmical pattern that provides sensory stimulation to the rider. It causes the rider’s hips and torso to move in the same rhythmical pattern as the horse’s. The purpose of using hippotherapy to treat kids with cerebral palsy is essentially to improve movement. A horse steps with approximately the same frequency as humans. Hippotherapy promotes normal off -horse movement through training natural motor responses.
Benefits of Hippotherapy in kids with cerebral palsy include improvements in :
- Core stability
- Postural control (which helps with voice production and speech)
- Gait (improved walking pattern and rhythm of steps)
- Balance and Coordination
- Range of Motion (due to the warmth of the horse)
- Self confidence