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Tai Chi Effective on Balance, Gait, and Quality of Life in Stroke Patients
 
January 16, 2015 -
A new study performed by Sahmyook University in South Korea analyzed the effects of therapeutic Tai Chi on balance, gait, and quality of life in chronic stroke patients.

Twenty-two inpatients diagnosed with stroke were divided randomly into two groups, with 11 patients in each group: one treated with both general physical therapy and Tai Chi exercise and the other treated with only general physical therapy. Therapeutic Tai Chi included 10 different movements and was performed for 60 minutes, twice per week, for 6 weeks. Pretest and post-test measurements were recorded for sway length and sway velocity using Gaitview, the functional reach test, the dynamic gait index, the 10-m walking test, the timed up-and-go test, and SF-36 survey.

Both the Tai Chi group and the control group showed a significant improvement in sway length and sway velocity, and the Tai Chi group showed greater improvement than the control group in degree of variation. In addition, only the Tai Chi group showed a significant result for functional reach test, the dynamic gait index, the 10-m walking test, the timed up-and-go test, and the Tai Chi group improved. In the quality of life, the therapeutic Tai Chi group showed a significant improvement in five items (physical function, pain, vitality, general health, mental health) among eight items in SF-36.

This study confirmed that therapeutic Tai Chi influences the balance, gait, and life quality of stroke patients. Therefore, therapeutic Tai Chi can be used as an effective exercise in combination with general physical therapy to improve the balance, gait, and quality of life in stroke patients.

The study is published by International journal of rehabilitation research in its January, 2015 issue.

 

 

 


 
 

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