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Tai chi may help balance and strength in multiple sclerosis (06/06/16)

Community-based tai chi has been linked to improvements in endurance, strength, fatigue, and balance in a small group of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), according a new study.

Because tai chi is thought to aid in balance, Linda Csiza, PT, DSc, NCS, of the Department of Physical Therapy at Texas Woman's University in Dallas, sought to explore the benefits of tai chi in patients with MS.

The study included patients aged 18 to 75 years with an MS diagnosis. The intervention consisted of six weeks of twice weekly, one-hour sessions of tai chi. Participants underwent pre- and post-testing for balance, strength, fatigue, and endurance.

The study intervention included 25 MS patients with a high attendance to the tai chi classes (80 per cent). However, post-test data was completed on 15 participants with a range of MS diagnoses.

Significant improvements were observed for balance, strength and perceived fatigue.

Lind Csiza said: “Many participants began the class from a chair but by the end of the 6 weeks were completing the tai chi exercise while standing.”

Source: Neurology Advisor, 06 June 2016, Shannon Aymes MD