Research proves tai chi benefits for arthritis

June 16, 2009,

A new study by The George Institute for International Health has found Tai Chi to have positive health benefits for musculoskeletal pain. The results of the first comprehensive analysis of Tai Chi suggest that it produces positive effects for improving pain and disability among arthritis sufferers.

The researchers are now embarking on a new trial to establish if similar benefits can be seen among people with chronic low back pain.

"This is the first robust evidence to support the beneficial effects of Tai Chi. Our study proves that Tai Chi relieves pain and disability among people with and shows a positive trend towards effects for overall physical health. We now want to see if these benefits are the same for people suffering from low back pain", said author Dr Chris Maher at The George Institute.

Musculoskeletal pain, such as that experienced by people with arthritis, places a severe burden on the patient and community and is recognised as an international health priority. Arthritis is the major cause of disability and chronic pain in Australia, with 3.85million Australians affected. Low back pain is the most prevalent and costly musculoskeletal condition in Australia, estimated to cost up to $1billion per annum with indirect costs exceeding $8billion.

"This research should reassure people with musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis to seek exercise to relieve the pain. The fact that Tai Chi is inexpensive, convenient, enjoyable and conveys other psychological and social benefits supports the use this type of intervention for pain conditions", added Ms Amanda Hall, The George Institute.

Tai Chi is a form of exercise that is regularly practiced in China for general health purposes and has gained increasing popularity in North America and Australia and thus a growing body of research aimed at investigating its health benefits has emerged.

Tai Chi is a versatile activity that can be easily incorporated into people's daily activities. Usually preformed in a group, can also be practiced individually, which differs from traditional exercise therapy approaches in clinic.

Source: Research Australia (news : web)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Best of Last Year—The top Medical Xpress articles of 2017

December 20, 2017
It was a good year for medical research as a team at the German center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Magdeburg, found that dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain. Any exercise helps, the team found, but dancing ...

Pickled in 'cognac', Chopin's heart gives up its secrets

November 26, 2017
The heart of Frederic Chopin, among the world's most cherished musical virtuosos, may finally have given up the cause of his untimely death.

Sugar industry withheld evidence of sucrose's health effects nearly 50 years ago

November 21, 2017
A U.S. sugar industry trade group appears to have pulled the plug on a study that was producing animal evidence linking sucrose to disease nearly 50 years ago, researchers argue in a paper publishing on November 21 in the ...

Female researchers pay more attention to sex and gender in medicine

November 7, 2017
When women participate in a medical research paper, that research is more likely to take into account the differences between the way men and women react to diseases and treatments, according to a new study by Stanford researchers.

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

BaldNerd
not rated yet Jun 17, 2009
I have been practicing Tai Chi for 4 years (see taoist.org). When I started, I was suffering from sciatica. I was going to a Chiropractor twice a week. Within 6 months my symptoms went away, and they have not returned.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.