ElderlyOsteoarthritisTai Chi

Tai chi effects in women with osteoarthritis

The effects of tai chi on knee muscle strength, bone mineral density, and fear of falling were studied by researchers at Chungnam National University, in Daejeon, South Korea.

First, the details.

  • 82 women with osteoarthritis were randomly assigned to a treatment group for 6 months.
    • Tai chi
    • Control group

And, the results.

  • Women in the tai chi program had a significantly greater response than the control group in several areas.
    • Knee extensor endurance (time to maintain pressure to extend the knee)
    • Bone mineral density in the neck of the proximal femur (long bone connecting to the hip), Ward’s triangle (see illustration), and trochanter (near the hip joint)
  • Knee extensor and flexor strength didn’t differ between the groups.
  • Fear of falling during daily activities was reduced significantly more in the tai chi group.

The bottom line?

Tai chi was beneficial compared to no treatment.

Even more encouraging is the report from Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, Maryland, where based on a mathematical epidemiological model it was determine that tai chi is one of the least-costly, most-effective options to prevent fall-related hip fractures in the elderly.

5/23/10 19:00 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.