Tai Chi for Arthritis Helps CVA

Dr Paul Lam

Published in Neurorehabilitation and Neuro Repair, Volume 20, Number 10, January 7 2009
 
Authors Stephanie S. Y. Au-Yeung, PhD, Christina W. Y. Hui-Chan, PhD, and Jervis C. S. Tang, MSWtai chi for people with chronic conditions in New Zealand 2008
 
All subjects were six months or more post-stroke.  Over a twelve week period a control group of 62 subjects performed general exercise, and a further 74 subjects received training in Tai Chi for Arthritis.  The subjects were tested for improved balance and reaction after six weeks, twelve weeks (conclusion of training) and eighteen weeks (six weeks post study).
 
Results showed that the tai chi group improved their reaction times on the non-affected side, and this was still noticeable six weeks after the study concluded.
 
This result supports the idea that regular practice of short-form Tai Chi for 6 to 12 weeks improves standing balance in people with chronic stroke. With its lasting effect beyond the training period, such short-form Tai Chi might be applied in community rehabilitation programs for patients who have adequate sensorimotor function and learning ability to safely participate.
 
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Reference of the study: Fransen M, Nairn L, Winstanley J, Lam P, Edmonds J : Physical activity for osteoarthritis management: a randomized controlled clinical trial evaluating hydrotherapy or Tai chi classes Arthritis & Rheumatism (Arthritis Care & Research) April 2007, 57:3 pp 407-414.