In hippotherapy, a specially trained physical, occupational, or speech therapist properly positions the patient on the horse, analyzes the patient's response and directs the horse's movement to achieve specific patient treatment goals. The horse is used as a unique treatment modality in conjunction with traditional therapies. As the horse walks, its center of gravity is displaced three-dimensionally with back and forth, up and down, side to side, and rotational movements. The horse's movement has a therapeutic effect on the patient with a precise, repetitive pattern of movement very similar to the movement of a person's pelvis during normal walking. Additionally, the movement of the horse produces sensory input to the brain and the nervous system of the patient.
To learn more about what therapy services Cheff is currently offering, or to schedule an assessment, please give us a call at 269-731-4471.
Hippotherapy has been shown to be one of the most efficient and effective treatments used to improve posture, balance, mobility, and function in patients with motor disorders. Major aims of hippotherapy include mobilization of the pelvis, lumbar spine and hip joints, normalization of muscle tone, development of head and trunk postural control and development of equilibrium reactions in the trunk.
Equine movement can be incorporated into treatment plans to address trunk strength and control, balance, postural control (strength and endurance), addressing weight bearing, co-ordination and motor planning. The horse's movement can also help with the development of fine motor skills, visual motor skills, bilateral co-ordination, attention and cognition. Additionally, Hipptherapy can be used to address Sensory Processing Issues.
The speech-language pathologist is able to use equine movement to facilitate the physiologic systems that support speech and language. When combined with other standard speech-language intervention strategies, the speech-language pathologist is able generate effective remediation of communication disorders and promote functional communication outcomes.