Tai Chi for spatiotemporal gait features and dynamic balancing capacity in elderly female patients with non-specific low back pain: A six-week randomized controlled trial

Author: Zhi-Wei Yan1, Zhen Yang2, Jinghui Yang3, Ya-Feng Chen4, Xue-Bin Zhang1, Cheng-Lin Song1
1 Department of Sports Rehabilitation, College of Human Kinesiology, Shenyang Sport University, Liaoning, China.
2 Moray House School of Education and Sport, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.
3 Department of Physical Therapy, New York University, New York, NY, USA.
4 Affiliated Hospital of Liaoning University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shenyang, Liaoning, China.
Conference/Journal: J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil
Date published: 2022 May 13
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.3233/BMR-210247. , Word Count: 209

Non-specific low back pain (NS-LBP) is a serious public health problem. Tai Chi is promising in reducing the risk of falls and alleviating symptoms in this population.

To investigate the effect of Tai Chi on gait and dynamic balance in elderly women with NS-LBP.

20 women (age > 65 yr.) with NS-LBP were randomly assigned to a Tai Chi group (n= 10) or a control group (n= 10). The Tai Chi group practiced Tai Chi exercise 3 times a week for 6 weeks. Each session lasted 60 minutes. Pain, spatiotemporal gait features and dynamic balancing capacity were assessed at 0 and 6 weeks.

Compared to the control group at 6 weeks, the Tai Chi group had a significant decrease in VAS (p= 0.027) and stride width (p= 0.019), significant improvement in gait velocity, stride length (p< 0.001). Regarding dynamic balance capacity, the Tai Chi group had significant improvements in anterior (Left: p= 0.001; Right: p= 0.038), postero-lateral (Left: p< 0.001; Right: p= 0.038), and postero-medial (Left: p= 0.015; Right: p= 0.018).

6-week Tai Chi can relieve pain and improve gait and dynamic balance in elderly women with NS-LBP, which suggests Tai Chi could be a promising rehabilitation intervention to reduce the risk of falls in this population.

Keywords: Low back pain; Tai Ji; accidental falls; gait; postural balance.

PMID: 35599469 DOI: 10.3233/BMR-210247