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Abstract

HIPPOTHERAPY: INTEGRATED APPROACH IN CHILDREN WITH CEREBRAL PALSY (CP)

*Becheva M., Georgiev D., Obreshkova D. and Petkova V.

ABSTRACT

Cerebral palsy is one of the most common diseases in children’s neuropathology. Improving the ability of self-service, communication and social activities for children with this problem is of the utmost importance for society, for their families and for themselves. Therefore, kinesiotherapy, in all its forms (one of which is hippotherapy), must be directed towards motor retraining as a whole and also towards the psychological state of the child. This review article aims to examine the sensorimotor and beneficial effects that hippotherapy has on the musculoskeletal system and the mental state of children with cerebral palsy. The beneficial effect of horse lies in the fact that through it muscle tension is controlled, the flabby muscles are strengthened the shortened muscles are relaxed muscles and thus the formation of contractures is prevented. Therapeutic riding improves quality of life of such children by taking them out in the open, sets them in motion and creates interaction between the child and the horse, which improves their emotional and physical condition and has a strong positive psychological effect. In this type of rehabilitation programs it is important to include, except hippotherapy, some behavioral approaches to improve the child’s psychological state; approaches helping to overcome some somatic diseases and improve healthy lifestyles through the ability to deal with their specific state. The timely awareness of this fact and the practical application of sensorimotor therapy for these children is essential to optimizing their quality of life.

Keywords: hippotherapy, cerebral palsy, approaches, impacts.


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