The Effect of Hippotherapy on Balance Ability in Subjects with Balance Disorders
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Kelley, Lauren Patricia
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Hippotherapy is a type of therapy that utilizes the motion of a horse to facilitate the stimulation and stretching of muscles in people with disabilities in order to increase strength, balance ability and coordination. Though hippotherapy facilitators, patients and their parents claim that this therapy is effective, there are few studies that offer evidence to this claim. Previous studies have utilized subjective evaluations done by trained testers to evaluate balance improvements. This thesis seeks to find quantitative evidence to support the effectiveness of hippotherapy by evaluating the balance ability of subjects throughout a treatment regimen. We will use a force plate and corresponding computer program to record and analyze patient’s balance before, during and after hippotherapy treatment.