Tai Chi with mental imagery theory improves soleus H-reflex and nerve conduction velocity in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Author: Alsubiheen A1, Petrofsky J2, Daher N2, Lohman E3, Balbas E4, Lee H5
1Department of Physical Therapy, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA, USA; Department of Physical Therapy, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
2School of Allied Health Professions, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA, USA.
3Department of Physical Therapy, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA, USA.
4Physical medicine and Rehabilitation, Pain management, Hoag Hospital, Newport Beach, CA, USA.
5Department of Physical Therapy, Gachon University, Incheon, Korea. Electronic address: leehaneul84@gachon.ac.kr.
Conference/Journal: Complement Ther Med.
Date published: 2017 Apr
Other: Volume ID: 31 , Pages: 59-64 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2017.01.005. Epub 2017 Feb 13. , Word Count: 245

OBJECTIVES: Diabetes is a disease that leads to damage to the peripheral nerves which may eventually cause balance instability. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of 8 weeks of Tai Chi (TC) training combined with mental imagery (MI) on soleus H-reflex and nerve conduction velocity (NCV) of the sural and superficial peroneal nerves in people with diabetes.

DESIGNS: Quasi-experimental, one group pretest-posttest design.

SETTING: Human Research Laboratory.

INTERVENTIONS: A series of Yang style of Tai Chi classes with mental imagery, one hour, two sessions per week for 8 weeks was done.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC) Scale, Functional Reach Test (FRT), and One Leg Standing Test (OLS) were measured as functional data. Hoffman reflex (H-reflex), and sural and superficial peroneal NCV were measured as main outcomes.

RESULTS: All functional outcomes measures were significantly improved after the intervention (p<0.01). In the H-reflex, there was a significant increase in amplitude (μV) after completing 8 weeks of TC exercise (p=0.02). In the sural nerve, the velocity (p=0.01), amplitude (p=0.01), and latency (p=0.01) were significantly improved between pre and post-test. In the superficial peroneal nerve, significant improvements were observed in (p=0.02) and latency (p=0.01), but not in amplitude (μV) (p>0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Combining TC intervention with MI theory showed an improvement in the H-reflex and NCV tests, which suggests improved balance and walking stability.

Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS: Diabetes mellitus; H-reflex; Nerve conduction; Sensory; Tai Chi exercise

PMID: 28434472 DOI: 10.1016/j.ctim.2017.01.005