Cerebral palsy is one of the most common causes of serious physical disability in childhood. Exercise for children with cerebral palsy is gaining more popularity among pediatric physical therapists community as an interventional choice. Underwater exercise appeals children with cerebral palsy because of the unique quality of buoyancy of water that influences poor balance and poor postural control. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of aquatic exercise program on muscle tone in spastic hemiplegic children. Thirty spastic hemiplegic children with cerebral palsy were enrolled in the study and were evaluated before and after treatment using Hoffman reflex and H/M ratio. They were randomly distributed into two groups of equal number; each group consisted of fifteen children. Group A received an exercise therapy program while wearing ankle foot orthosis as a home routine, two sessions per week for twenty weeks. Group B received the same exercise therapy program in addition to an aquatic exercise program for twenty weeks two sessions per week for twenty weeks. Results: The results revealed significant difference in all measured variables regarding group A and B when comparing pre and posttreatment mean values (P<0.0001) Statistically significant improvement was observed in favor of group B. Conclusion: Combination of exercise program and aquatic exercise program had significant effect on decreasing H-reflex in spastichemiplegic cerebral palsy.
Keywords Cerebral Palsy, Spasticity, Hemiplegia, Aquatic Exercise, H-reflex