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Sun-style Tai Chi for Osteoarthritic Knee Pain in Elders with Cognitive Impairment
August 24, 2015 -
Some scientists from University of Arkansas, University of Texas, Duke University and University of Wisconsin-Madison teamed up to perform a secondary data analysis of a cluster-randomized clinical trial that tested the efficacy of a 20-week Sun-style Tai Chi (TC) program in reducing pain in community-dwelling elders with cognitive impairment and knee osteoarthritis (OA). The study also examined whether elders' level of cognitive function was related to the outcomes of the Tai Chi program.

In this study, 55 elders were recruited from 8 study sites. Each site was randomly assigned to participate in either a 20-week Tai Chi or an education program. Verbal report of pain was measured by a Verbal Descriptor Scale at weeks 1, 5, 9, 13, 17 and 21 (designated as times 1-6). Pain behaviors and analgesic intake were also recorded at times 1-6.

At post-test, scores on the VDS and observed pain behaviors were significantly better in the Tai Chi group than in the control group. The beneficial effects of Tai Chi were not associated with cognitive ability.

These results suggest that Tai Chi can be used as an adjunct to pharmacological intervention to relieve OA pain in elders with cognitive impairment.

The results are published by the journal Complementary medical research in August, 2015.


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