Effect of a new physical therapy concept on dynamic balance in children with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy
Background: Treadmill gait training as a therapeutic resource in the rehabilitation of children with cerebral palsy (CP) has recently been the focus of many studies; however, still little is known regarding the effect of antigravity treadmill (AGT) on dynamic balance in children with spastic diplegia.
Aim of the study: This study aims to evaluate the effect of gait training using AGT on standing balance of the spastic diplegic cerebral palsy (SDCP) children.
Subjects and methods: 30 SDCP children (6–8 years old), from both sexes, participated in this study. They were divided randomly into 2 groups: control group (group A) and study group (group B). The control group received a specially designed therapeutic exercise program; while the study group received gait training using AGT, for 20 min, 3 times weekly, for 3 months, in addition to the same exercise program given to the control group. The Biodex balance system was used for the assessment of the dynamic postural control of all participants.
Results: The results revealed no significant difference when comparing the pretreatment mean values of the 2 groups, while significant improvement was observed in all the measured variables of the 2 groups when comparing their pre and post treatment mean values. A significant difference was also observed when comparing the post treatment results of the 2 groups in favor of the study group.
Conclusion: It can be concluded that gait training using AGT could be used as an effective method for improving standing balance for children with SDCP.
Keywords: Antigravity; Treadmill; Cerebral palsy; Dynamic balance