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Inter-Day Reliability and Changes of Surface Electromyography on Two Postural Muscles Throughout 12 Weeks of Hippotherapy on Patients with Cerebral Palsy: A Pilot Study

Institut Equiphoria, Combo Besso-Rouges Parets, 48500 La Canourgue, France
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Brain Sci. 2020, 10(5), 281; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10050281
Received: 7 April 2020 / Revised: 22 April 2020 / Accepted: 30 April 2020 / Published: 6 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Collection on Clinical Neuroscience)
Cerebral palsy (CP) is an umbrella term covering a group of permanent developmental disorders of movement and posture characterized by highly variable clinical features. The aim of this study was to assess the short-term and mid-term effects of neurorehabilitation via hippotherapy on the contractile properties of two key postural muscles during functional sitting in such patients. Thirty-minute hippotherapy sessions were conducted biweekly for 12 weeks in 18 patients (18.1 ± 5.7 years old). Surface electromyography (EMG) was implemented bilaterally in rectus abdominis and adductor magnus. We quantitatively analyzed the amplitude of EMG signals in the time domain and its spectral characteristics in the frequency domain. EMGs were recorded at the beginning and end of each session on day one and at week six and week twelve. Statistical analysis revealed a substantial inter-day reliability of the EMG signals for both muscles, validating the methodological approach. To a lesser extent, while beyond the scope of the current study, quantitative changes suggested a more selective recruitment/contractile properties’ shift of the examined muscles. Exploring postural control during functional activities would contribute to understanding the relationship between structural impairment, activity performance and patient capabilities, allowing the design of neurorehabilitation programs aimed at improving postural and functional skills according to each individual’s needs. The present study provides basic quantitative data supporting the body of scientific evidence making hippotherapy an approach of choice for CP neurorehabilitation. View Full-Text
Keywords: cerebral palsy; postural balance; postural muscles; EMG; neurorehabilitation; hippotherapy cerebral palsy; postural balance; postural muscles; EMG; neurorehabilitation; hippotherapy
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Viruega, H.; Gaillard, I.; Briatte, L.; Gaviria, M. Inter-Day Reliability and Changes of Surface Electromyography on Two Postural Muscles Throughout 12 Weeks of Hippotherapy on Patients with Cerebral Palsy: A Pilot Study. Brain Sci. 2020, 10, 281.

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