Professor Ernst and colleagues from Universities of Exeter & Plymouth in the UK have targeted tai chi for their unwavering critique.
Here’s what they found.
They zero in on the design and results of 12 studies.
And, the results.
2 studies suggest significant pain reduction in knee osteoarthritis compared to routine treatment and an attention control program (teaching mental skills to help patients stay in control).
3 studies report no significant pain reduction on multiple sites of pain.
2 of 4 studies suggest improvement in physical function (based on the results of activity of daily living or WOMAC) compared to routine treatment or wait-list control.
The bottom line?
The authors conclude, “There is some encouraging evidence suggesting that tai chi may be effective for pain control in patients with knee osteoarthritis. However, the evidence is not convincing for pain reduction or improvement of physical function.”
John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.