Effects of tai chi on gait kinematics, physical function, and pain in elderly with knee osteoarthritis - A pilot study

Chwan Li Shen, C. Roger James, Ming C. Chyu, Walter R. Bixby, Jean Michel Brismée, Mimi A. Zumwalt, Glen Poklikuha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

Our previous study has demonstrated that 6 weeks of Tai Chi exercise significantly improves knee pain and stiffness in elderly with knee osteoarthritis. This study also examine the effects of Tai Chi exercise on gait kinematics, physical function, pain, and pain self-efficacy in elderly with knee osteoarthritis. In this prospective, pretest-posttest clinical trial, 40 men and women (64.4 ± 8.3 years) diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis participated in 6 weeks of instructed Tai Chi training, 1 hour/session, 2 sessions/week. The following measures were taken at baseline and the conclusion of the intervention: (a) gait kinematics including stride length, stride frequency, and gait speed quantified using video analysis, (b) physical function, (c) knee pain, and (d) pain self-efficacy. Data were analyzed using repeated MANCOVA, MANOVA, ANOVA and Wilcoxon tests. After 6 weeks of Tai Chi exercise, stride length (p = 0.023; 1.17 ± 0.17 vs. 1.20 ± 0.14 m), stride frequency (p = 0.014; 0.91 ± 0.08 vs. 0.93 ± 0.08 strides/s), and consequently gait speed (p = 0.025; 1.06 ± 0.19 vs. 1.12 ± 0.15 m/s) increased in the participants. Physical function was significantly improved (p > 0.001) and knee pain was significantly decreased (p = 0.002), while no change was observed in pain self-efficacy. In conclusion, these findings support that Tai Chi is beneficial for gait kinematics in elderly with knee osteoarthritis, and a longer term application is needed to substantiate the effect of Tai Chi as an alternative exercise in management of knee osteoarthritis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-232
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Chinese Medicine
Volume36
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008

Keywords

  • Mind-Body Exercise
  • Pain
  • Range of Motion
  • Stiffness
  • Stride
  • Tai Chi
  • WOMAC

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