Tai-Chi found beneficial in arthritic patients

A new analysis has provided good evidence which suggests that Tai Chi is beneficial for arthritis. Particularly, it has been shown to decrease pain improving overall physical health, stress levels, and health status.

Musculoskeletal pain, such as those experienced by arthritis sufferers, is recognized as an international health priority. So far exercise therapy, stretching and aerobic programs have been considered beneficial for arthritic pain.

Tai Chi, is a common form of exercise practiced in China for overall health and well-being. Although usually performed in a group, it can also be practiced alone.

A new study, which examined the effectiveness of Tai Chi in decreasing pain and disability, while also improving physical functioning in people with chronic musculoskeletal pain, was published in June issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

Under the leadership of Amanda Hall, George Institute in Australia, Sydney, researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis. They used seven randomized trials with Tai Chi as main intervention for patients with musculoskeletal pain. The results indicate that Tai Chi improves pain and disability in arthritic patients.

Researchers conclude that Tai Chi is an inexpensive, convenient and enjoyable intervention for painful conditions such as arthritis.

However, the result of this review only indicates the effect of Tai Chi as a minimum intervention (as a general health care) or wait list control. The placebo-controlled trial to examine the special effect of Tai Chi is yet to be carried out, the researchers pointed out.