Tai Chi and Arthritis Pain
Tuesday, September 8, 2009

There is good evidence to suggest that tai chi is beneficial for arthritis. Dr. Edward Hill discusses research that shows the martial art may decrease pain and improve overall physical health in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

Practicing the traditional Chinese martial art tai chi may reduce arthritis pain and disability.

A research review pooled data from seven studies. Five of the studies included people with osteoarthritis, a sixth study focused on people with rheumatoid arthritis and the seventh study included people with chronic tension headaches.

Besides their usual medical care, some patients took weekly tai chi classes. Tai chi is a form of exercise that is regularly practiced to improve overall health and well-being. Classes lasted for six to 15 weeks and involved one to three weekly classes.

The review shows a drop of 10 points, on a scale of zero to 100 points, in the self-reported pain and disability scores of arthritis patients after taking tai chi. Those patients also reported less tension and more satisfaction with their health, compared to patients who didn't take tai chi.

Musculoskeletal pain, such as that experienced by people with arthritis, places a severe burden on the patient. Exercise therapy including strengthening, stretching and aerobic programs, have been shown to be effective for arthritic pain.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.