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Tai Chi Effective for Decreasing Acute Pain in Fibromyalgia Patients
November 15, 2013 -
Tai Chi has shown benefits in physical and psychological outcomes in diverse populations. A group of researchers from University of Granada, Spain aimed to determine the changes elicited by a Tai Chi program (12 and 24 weeks) in acute pain (before vs. after session) in fibromyalgia patients. They also assessed the cumulative changes in pain brought about by a Tai Chi program.

Thirty-six patients (29 women) with fibromyalgia participated in a low-moderate intensity Tai Chi program for 12 weeks (3 sessions/week). Twenty-eight patients (27 women) continued the program for an additional 12 weeks (i.e. 24 weeks). They assessed pain by means of a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) before and after each single session (i.e. 72 sessions).

The researchers observed significant immediate changes with an approximately 12% mean decrease of acute pain in the comparison of VAS-values before and after each session (72 sessions in total), with the exception of 4 sessions. They observed significant changes in cumulative pain pre-session and cumulative pain post-session along the 24-week intervention only.

In conclusion, a low-moderate intensity Tai Chi program for 12 weeks (3 times/week) decreased levels of acute pain in fibromyalgia patients. A longer period is necessary (e.g. 24 weeks) for observing cumulative changes in pain.

The study is published in the November 2013 issue of International Journal of Sports Medicine





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