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Efficacy of Rehabilitation with Tai Chi for Patients with Fibromyalgia Syndrome
October 24, 2016 -
Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) is characterized by musculoskeletal pain, muscle tenderness leading to disability, impaired quality of life (QoL), fatigue and it is accompanied by sleep disorders and psychological distress. Mind body therapies (MBT), such as Tai Chi, use different techniques to facilitate the ability of the mind to influence disease characteristics and symptoms. Some studies showed that Tai Chi, in patients with rheumatic diseases, particularly FMS, improved QoL, disability and psychological distress.

A new study conducted in Italy by University of Florence evaluated the efficacy of Tai Chi on disability, QoL, fatigue, sleep and psychological distress in an Italian cohort of FMS patients. The research team enrolled 44 FMS patients: 22 patients in the Experimental Group participated to a course of Tai Chi style twice a week for 16 weeks; 22 patients in the Control Group participated in an educational course about FMS twice a week for 16 weeks. At baseline (T0) and at the end of treatment (T1), patients were assessed for disability, Quality of Life, fatigue, pain, tenderness, Sleep Quality and mood disorders.

At T1 versus T0, patients of the Experimental Group showed a significant improvement in the measurements for Summary Physical Index, Physical activity, physical role, bodily pain, general health, vitality, emotional role limitations, sleep duration, and sleep disturbance, total score and anxiety subscale, while Patients in the Control Group did not improve in any parameter.

The research teams concluded that Tai Chi should be regarded as an effective rehabilitation method for FMS patients. Their findings were published in the journal Complementary therapies in clinical practice in August of 2016.


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