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.