ElderlyOsteoarthritisTai Chi

Benefits of tai chi in older women with osteoarthritis

The effect of a 24-week tai chi program in older Chinese women with osteoarthritis of the knee was studied by researchers in China.

First, the details.

  • 35 older Chinese women with knee osteoarthritis were randomly assigned to a treatment group for 24 weeks.
    • Tai chi: 24-form simplified Yang-style tai chi 2 to 4 times a week with gradually increased frequency.
    • Attention control (wellness education and stretching) group. Subjects in the tai chi group practiced the.
  • Physical function was assessed using the Western Ontario and McMaster University Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), 6-minute walk distance (You know… how far you can walk in 6 minutes), and stair climb time.

And, the results.

  • Compared with the control group, tai chi was associated with significant improvements in changes of the WOMAC total score and the WOMAC pain, stiffness, and function subscales.
  • There was also significant improvement in the 6-minute walk distance, and the stair climb time.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Tai chi provides a safe, feasible, and useful exercise option for older Chinese female patients with knee osteoarthritis.”

Others have also reported benefits with tai chi

  • Researchers at Keio University School of Medicine, in Tokyo reviewed the evidence and concluded that traditional Chinese tai chi reduces the risk of falling in elderly and obese individuals.
  • Researchers at Tufts Medical Center, in Boston reported, “Tai chi mind-body exercise appears to provide an important approach for self-care and self-management for knee osteoarthritis.”

2/5/10 20:16 JR

Hi, I’m JR

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.