Hippotherapy – an effective multi-profile treatment?
 
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1
Department of Nursing and Social Medical Problems, School of Health Sciences in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland
2
Department of Pediatric Cardiology, School of Medicine in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Ewelina Barbara Kolarczyk   

Department of Nursing and Social Medical Problems, School of Health Sciences in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland, ul. Medyków 12, 40-752 Katowice, tel. 888 357 655
 
Ann. Acad. Med. Siles. 2016;70:177–183
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Introduction:
Hippotherapy is a form of psychomotor therapy aided by a horse. Aim of the paper: The aim of the paper is to characterize hippotherapy as an effective method supporting rehabilitation of disabled people in the bio-psycho-social area. The analysis is based on a review of the literature and previous studies of this form of therapy.

Material and Methods:
The material was gathered using the ALEPH integrated library system. The literature was obtained from different databases such as PubMed and Medline.

Results:
The research carried out to date indicates the usefulness of hippotherapy in improving the condition of patients with Cerebral Palsy (CP). The obtained results show significantly better results of rehabilitation for children with CP treated with combination therapy using PNF techniques and hippotherapy. The efficacy of hippotherapy in achieving the correct center of gravity and correct posture in children with CP was demonstrated during just one session. It has been proven that hippotherapy helps to improve gait, balance and motor function, not only in patients with CP but also in children with developmental delay, Down's syndrome, in the elderly and patients recovering after a stroke. The series of studies showed a significant impact on the level of self-esteem, life satisfaction and, most importantly, the quality of life among disabled people.

Conclusions:
Hippotherapy has positive therapeutic effects in patients suffering from various disabilities both within the musculoskeletal system as well as in psychological and social areas. It is an attractive and effective method of adjunctive therapy.

 
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