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Effects of NMES and Horseback Riding Using a Robotic Device on the Trunk Muscle Activity and Gross Motor Function in Children with Spastic Diplegia
J Kor Phys Ther 2018;30(4):123-128
Published online August 31, 2018;
© 2018 The Korea Society of Physical Therapy.

Shin-Jun Park1, Pong-Sub Youn2

1Department of Physical Therapy, GangDong University, Chungcheongbuk-do; 2Department of Physical Therapy, Bundang Jesaeng General Hospital, Seongnam, Korea
Pong-Sub Youn
Received July 23, 2018; Revised August 16, 2018; Accepted August 31, 2018.
This is an Open Access article distribute under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution,and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Purpose: This study examined the effects of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) and horseback riding using a robotic device on the trunk muscle activity and gross motor function in children with spastic diplegia.
Methods: Children with spastic diplegia were divided into two groups: an experimental group (NMES and horseback riding using a robotic device [n=10]) and a control group (placebo NMES and horseback riding using a robotic device [n=10]). Each group received general physical therapy and occupational therapy. Each intervention involved the administration of NMES for 15 minutes and horseback riding using robotic device therapy for 15 minutes three times a week for 4 weeks. The evaluation included both the rectus abdominis muscles (RA), external oblique muscles (EO), thoracic paraspinal muscles (TP), and lumbar paraspinal muscles (LP) activity and GMFM.
Results: The RA, EO, TP, and LP muscle activity, GMFM C, D, and E were increased significantly in the experimental and control groups. A significant increase in both the TP muscle activity and GMFM D was observed in the experimental group compared to the control group.
Conclusion: This study showed that horseback riding using a robotic device is an effective intervention for trunk muscle activity and GMFM in children with spastic diplegia. However, if NMES is added to the back muscles, it is possible to further increase the thoracic paraspinal muscle activity and standing ability.
Keywords : Neuromuscular electrical stimulation, Horseback riding using a robotic device, Trunk muscle activity, Gross motor function, Spastic diplegia

August 2018, 30 (4)
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