Arthritis Patients Improve Well-being with Tai Chi

Tai Chi helps arthritis patients achieve better balance, reach, decreases fatigue, and improves overall quality of life.

Practicing Tai Chi can help relieve arthritis after all, according to the results of a large study by the Arthritis Foundation’s Tai Chi program.

The study included 354 participants from North Carolina and New Jersey and found that the subjects showed improvement in pain, fatigue, stiffness, and sense of well being, according to a press release. Their ability to reach while maintaining balance improved.

"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," Callahan said, in a press release. "We found this in both rural and urban settings across a southeastern state and a northeastern state."

The study included two groups: one group received an 8-week, twice-weekly Tai Chi course immediately and the other group served as the delayed control group. All participants received baseline and 8-week follow-up evaluations, and afterwards the control group also received the Tai Chi course.

At the end of eight weeks, those in the intervention group showed moderate improvements in pain, fatigue and stiffness as well as an increased sense of well being and improved reach or balance.