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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:523852. doi: 10.1155/2015/523852. Epub 2015 Jan 21.

Sitting tai chi improves the balance control and muscle strength of community-dwelling persons with spinal cord injuries: a pilot study.

Author information

1
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong.
2
Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong.
3
Institute of Human Performance, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the effects of sitting Tai Chi on muscle strength, balance control, and quality of life (QOL) among survivors with spinal cord injuries (SCI).

METHODS:

Eleven SCI survivors participated in the sitting Tai Chi training (90 minutes/session, 2 times/week for 12 weeks) and eight SCI survivors acted as controls. Dynamic sitting balance was evaluated using limits of stability test and a sequential weight shifting test in sitting. Handgrip strength was also tested using a hand-held dynamometer. QOL was measured using the World Health Organization's Quality of Life Scale.

RESULTS:

Tai Chi practitioners achieved significant improvements in their reaction time (P = 0.042); maximum excursion (P = 0.016); and directional control (P = 0.025) in the limits of stability test after training. In the sequential weight shifting test, they significantly improved their total time to sequentially hit the 12 targets (P = 0.035). Significant improvement in handgrip strength was also found among the Tai Chi practitioners (P = 0.049). However, no significant within and between-group differences were found in the QOL outcomes (P > 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

Twelve weeks of sitting Tai Chi training could improve the dynamic sitting balance and handgrip strength, but not QOL, of the SCI survivors.

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