Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Doing tai chi reduces arthritis pain

THE CHINESE exercise regimen tai chi helps reduce fatigue and arthritis pain, a new study has found.

"Our study shows that there are significant benefits of the tai chi course for individuals with all types of arthritis, including fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis," said Leigh Callahan, the study's lead author.

"We found this in both rural and urban settings across a southeastern state and a northeastern state," added Callahan, who is also associate professor in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.

The scientists used 354 participants in the study, recruited from 20 locations in the states of North Carolina and New Jersey.

The patients were divided into two groups. One group received the eight-week, twice weekly tai chi course immediately while the other group received it later.

Participants had to have any type of arthritis, be 18 or older and able to move independently without assistance.

However, they were eligible for the study regardless of whether they could perform tai chi standing or seated, Callahan said.

At the end of eight weeks, the individuals who had received the tai chi course were the first to shows moderate improvements in pain, fatigue and stiffness.

They also had an increased sense of well-being, and they had improved reach or balance, Callahan added.

The results of the study will be formally presented today at the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Rheumatology in Atlanta, Georgia - AFP-Relaxnews

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