The First Tai Chi for Back Pain Study

The First Tai Chi for Back Pain Study conducted in Sydney 2008-2010, Using Dr Paul Lam’s Tai Chi for Back Pain Program

Summary of a Randomized Controlled Trail (RCT) Using “Tai Chi Exercise for the Treatment of Pain and Disability in People with Persistent Low Back Pain”
By: Anastasia Yianni & Wilfred Kwok

Authors of the study: A. M. Hall, C. G. Maher, P. Lam, M. Ferreira and J. Latimer

Published in the Arthritis Care & Research Journal November 2011 

The study consisted of 160 volunteers between ages 18 and 70 years deemed eligible if they had moderate pain and/or activity limitation, with a diagnosis of “persistent nonspecific low back pain”. Half the participants undertook tai chi exercise consisting of 18 group sessions, 40 minutes in duration over 10 weeks. The other 80 participants (control group) continued with their usual health care.

The results collected immediately after the 10 week course program indicated that there was a statistically significant treatment effect for 75% of the tai chi participants and that tai chi exercise is a safe and effective intervention for improving pain and disability outcomes for people with persistent low back pain.

This again adds to the evidence of tai chi’s health benefits when done on a regular basis and that more and more people are considering it to be worthwhile in their approach to positive health.
Please read an additional article on the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy Website regarding this study.