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☛ Horseback riding can help stroke victims 6-18–17

HORSEBACK RIDING CAN HELP STROKE VICTIMS RECOVER FASTER

 

A SWEDISH STUDY PUBLISHED BY REUTERS SAID HORSEBACK RIDING AND MUSIC THERAPY CAN MAKE VICTIMS FEEL LIKE THEY’RE RECOVERING FASTER

June 18, 2017

According to an article on Newsmax.com Health published June 16, 2017 and originally published by Thomson/Reuters, a small Swedish study of stroke patients finds that activities such as horseback riding and rhythm-and-music therapy can hep them feel like they are recovering faster, even if their stroke occurred years earlier.

Co-author Dr. Michael Nilsson told Reuters Health by phone that the results counter the attitude that stroke patients can’t improve if a year has passed since their brain damage occurred.

The study included 12 weeks of twice-weekly lessons, 56 percent in the riding group and 38 percent in the music group said they had experienced meaningful recovery compared to 17 percent who were not given any extra activity. The self-reported benefit persisted six months after the lessons stopped.

Nilsson, who directs the Hunter Medical Research Institute in New South Wales, Australia, says, “For a big big, big, big group of stroke survivors, it’s highly unethical to say nothing can be done after 12 months. That attitude can kill the motivation for further rehabilitation.

On average, the 123 Swedish volunteers started the study nearly three years after suffering their stoke. The Nilsson team speculated that the physical and social aspects of riding or moving to the music were responsible for the improvements. However, it did not compare them to patients who were given other types of extra attention, such as twice=weekly group outings

The interventions were done on patients who were moderately debilitated. All could walk, use transportation services for the disabled and use the toilet without assistance.

Horseback riding sessions, which lasted four hours and included special exercise, grooming, equipping the therapy horse and 30 minutes of sitting on the horse as it was being led, produced an immediate jump in perceived improvement.

Horseback riding produced immediate and significant improvements in gait and balance in all three tests used by the researchers but by the sixth month of follow-up, only one of the three tests was still showing better performance.

Although limited, the data might help doctors tease out the best types of activities for retraining the brain.

For further information, go to http://nws.mx/2roYqu9

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