The Effects of Tai Chi on Touching Sense, Balance, and Fitness in Hispanic Older Adults with Type 2 Diabetes
December 16, 2015 -
Peripheral neuropathy and loss
of sense of touching in older adults with type 2 diabetes can increase risk of
falls and disability. In nondiabetic older adult population, Tai Chi has been
shown to enhance balance and fitness through improvements in sense of touching
and neuromuscular control, and it is unclear if Tai Chi would elicit similar
benefits in older adults with diabetes.
Therefore, researchers from
University of Texas at El Paso performed a study to investigate the effects of
an 8-week, three-hour-per-week Tai Chi intervention on peripheral sense of
touching in older adults with type 2 diabetes. Participants were eight Hispanic
older adults with type 2 diabetes who participated in the Tai Chi intervention
and a convenience sample of Hispanic older adults as a referent group.
Baseline and post-intervention
assessments included ankle proprioception, foot tactile sense, plantar pressure
distribution, balance, and fitness. After intervention, older adults with type 2
diabetes showed significant improvements in ankle proprioception and fitness and
decreased plantar pressure in the forefoot, with no statistical effect noted in
balance or tactile sensation.
So this study results suggest
that Tai Chi may be beneficial for older adults with
diabetes as it improves ankle proprioception. However, study findings need to be
confirmed in a larger sample size randomized controlled trial.
The study is published by
Evidence Based Complementary and
Alternative Medicine in October, 2015.