Adding core stability exercises to physical therapy improves trunk endurance — the ability to withstand fatigue — and walking ability in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy, according to researchers.
Their small study, “Trunk endurance and gait changes after core stability training in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy: A randomized controlled trial,” was published in the Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation.
Hemiplegic cerebral palsy, which affects movement on only one side of the body, is the most common form of cerebral palsy. It frequently affects the ability of children to keep an upright position, maintain standing balance, coordinate movement, and be able to walk.
Core muscles — those around the trunk and pelvis — are the base of support for the body. They keep it balanced and stable, and connect the upper and lower body. Core muscles are essential for movement, such as walking.
Lower core strength, endurance, and stability may be responsible for reduced functional capacity and impaired motor skills in children with cerebral palsy.
The study, from Cairo University in Egypt, evaluated the beneficial effects of adding core stability training to physical therapy on trunk endurance and walking ability in 30 children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy.
The 17 boys and 13 girls ages 10 to 12 were randomly assigned to either a predefined physical therapy program with additional core stability training, or to physical therapy alone, three times a week for eight weeks.