Effects of Stabilization Exercises on Balance in Children with Cerebral Palsy

The Journal of Physical Therapy Science published research examining  the effects of stabilization exercises on balance in children with cerebral palsy.  The participants included 11 school aged children diagnosed with cerebral palsy (GMFCS Levels I-III).

Each child engaged in stabilization exercises of neck and trunk twice per week for eight weeks with each treatment lasting for 45 minutes.  The treatment sessions included a warm-up exercises, neck and trunk stabilization exercises, postural control exercises and cool down exercises. The neck and trunk exercises involved:

1) lifting the head in a modified bridge exercise to activate the neck flexor muscles and the lower abdominal muscles simultaneously

2) pushing the neck backward in supine position to activate the erector muscles of the neck and the upper thoracic vertebrae through the extension of the muscles of the back of the neck

3) activation of the deep abdominal muscles in bridge exercise positions with a posterior inclined movement of the pelvis.

The Trunk Control Measurement Scale (TCMS) was used to evaluate the children’s trunk control ability.

After treatment, the Trunk Control Measurement Scale evaluation indicated that the exercise treatments had a significant effect on:

  • static sitting balance
  • selective movement control
  • dynamic reaching
  • total Trunk Control Measurement Scale scores

The researchers concluded that neck and trunk stabilization exercises that require children’s active participation are helpful for improving static and dynamic balance ability in children with cerebral palsy.

Reference: Shin, J. W., Song, G. B., & Ko, J. (2017). The effects of neck and trunk stabilization exercises on cerebral palsy children’s static and dynamic trunk balance: case series. Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 29(4), 771-774.


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