CVA with hemiparesis

Use of hippotherapy in gait training for hemiparetic post-stroke

Beinotti, F

Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria (2010) 


 To evaluate the hippotherapy influence on gait training in post-stroke hemiparetic individuals. METHOD: The study was constituted of 20 individuals divided into two groups. Group A performed the conventional treatment while group B the conventional treatment along with hippotherapy during 16 weeks. The patients were evaluated by using the Functional Ambulation Category Scale, Fugl-Meyer Scale, only the lower limbs and balance sub items, Berg Balance Scale, and functional assessment of gait (cadence) in the beginning and end of the treatment. 


Significant improvements were observed in the experimental group including motor impairment in lower limbs (p=0.004), balance, over time (p=0.007) but a significant trend between groups (p=0.056). The gait independence, cadence and speed were not significantly in both groups (p=0.93, 0.69 and 0.44). 


Hippotherapy associated with conventional physical therapy has proved to be a good resource in the treatment of gait training for hemiparetic patients after stroke. The improvements in motor impairment of lower limbs, the independence of ambulation, of cadence and speed confirm this finding. Thus the patients in the experimental group showed a greater approximation of the normal gait standard than the control group.