Monday, June 1, 2009

Tai Chi Reduces Arthritis Pain

Researchers from The George Institute in Sydney, Australia suggest that Tai Chi can improve quality of life for arthritis sufferers and reduce arthritis pain. Though no large studies have been performed, an analysis of existing data suggests that Tai Chi not only reduces arthritis pain, relaxes, but it also leads to an improved outlook regarding overall health status.

Tai Chi is a form of exercise that can be practiced alone or in groups. Reduction in arthritis pain is shown to occur with exercise, but Tai Chi is not considered a conventional form of exercise regularly prescribed for those suffering from arthritis in clinical settings.

The study, published in the June issue of Arthritis Care & Research, analyzed the results of seven controlled studies that used Tai Chi as a primary intervention for reducing arthritis pain, disability, physical function and quality of life. The findings show that Tai Chi can reduce arthritis pain.

The study, led by Amanda Hall of The George Institute in Sydney, Australia suggests that Tai Chi exercises should be supported to help arthritis pain. The authors write, “The fact that Tai Chi is inexpensive, convenient, and enjoyable and conveys other psychological and social benefits supports the use this type of intervention for pain conditions such as arthritis.”

Placebo controlled trials are needed to further the study of Tai Chi for reducing arthritis pain and improving functional status. The analysis shows that Tai Chi should be investigated as a useful modality to help arthritis sufferers improve quality of life, improve functional status, and reduce musculoskeletal pain associated with arthritis.