Comparison of saddles in hippotherapy for patients with chronic low back pain

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Wirintorn Ruamsilp
Nuanlaor Thawinchai
Patraporn Sitilertpisan
Siriporn Peansukmanee
Samatchai Chamnongkich


Chronic low back pain (CLBP) significantly impacts daily life. Currently, hippotherapy on a robotic horse has been shown to decrease pain and disability in low back pain. However, live horses and different types of saddles used during hippotherapy may have various therapeutic effects. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare the standard all-purpose saddle and the pad saddle used in live horse hippotherapy for individuals with CLBP. Ten participants with CLBP were assessed pain level using the visual analog scale (VAS) and lumbopelvic mobility using the Schober test and inertia measurement unit (IMU) before and after each saddle, with a one-week interval between saddles and a 20-minute hippotherapy session. The dependent t-test, with a significance level of 0.05, was conducted to compare the percentage change of each variable between two saddles. The result showed that the standard saddles significantly reduced pain levels (p <0.001) and increased pelvic range (p<0.05) greater than applied pad saddles in participants with chronic LBP. Therefore, the standard all-purpose saddle is more beneficial than the applied pad saddle for individuals with chronic LBP undergoing hippotherapy.

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Ruamsilp, W., Thawinchai, N., Sitilertpisan, P. ., Peansukmanee, S. ., & Chamnongkich, S. . (2023). Comparison of saddles in hippotherapy for patients with chronic low back pain: Veterinary Integrative Sciences, 21(3), 821–830. Retrieved from
Research Articles


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