Tai Chi May Improve Physical Performance among Peripheral
June 28, 2010 - Peripheral neuropathy is a problem with the nerves
that carry information to and from the brain and spinal cord. This can produce
pain, loss of sensation, and an inability to control muscles.
For inherited peripheral neuropathy, no medical
treatments exist. However, there are therapies for many other forms. In
general, adopting healthy habits -- such as maintaining optimal weight, avoiding
exposure to toxins, following a physician-supervised exercise program, eating a
balanced diet, correcting vitamin deficiencies, and limiting or avoiding alcohol
consumption -- can reduce the physical and emotional effects of peripheral
neuropathy. Systemic diseases frequently require more complex treatments.
As a new study published in the American journal of Chinese medicine
reports, two researchers from the
DDepartment of Kinesiology, Louisiana State University, conducted a study to examine the
effects of a 24-week Tai Chi program on physical function in individuals with
In that study, 25 people with peripheral neuropathy participated in
a modified, group-based Tai Chi practice. During the 24 consecutive weeks of
program, the researchers assessed the physical functions of the participants
every 6 weeks using several scientific measurements, including the 6-min walk,
timed up-and-go test, leg strength and standing balance.
After 6 weeks of Tai Chi practice, participants started to
show improvement in the 6-min walk, timed up-and-go, and leg strength
performance. At the end of the study, the participants' plantar sensation also
improved. Throughout the study period, the researchers didn't observe any
adverse event. All of these results led them to the conclusion that long-term,
group-based Tai Chi is a safe and effective intervention for those
with Peripheral Neuropathy.