Navigation Links
Stroke survivors improve balance with tai chi
Date:3/23/2009

Stroke can impair balance, heightening the risk of a debilitating fall. But a University of Illinois at Chicago researcher has found that stroke survivors can improve their balance by practicing the Chinese martial art of tai chi.

Christina Hui-Chan, professor and head of physical therapy at UIC, has studied and used tai chi as a way to improve balance and minimize falls among healthy elderly subjects. Now she and a colleague have seen similar results in a group of stroke survivors.

The study used 136 subjects in Hong Kong who had suffered a stroke more than six months earlier. Participants were randomly assigned to a tai chi group or a control group that practiced breathing, stretching and other exercises that involved sitting, walking, memorizing and reasoning.

Tai chi consists of constant coordinated movement of the head, trunk and limbs requiring tremendous concentration and balance control. Participants learned a simplified form that had been shown to be beneficial to arthritis patients.

Patients were trained in small groups by physical therapists in a weekly class, then practiced at home three days a week for one hour. They received 12 weeks of training but were able to learn the technique in as little as eight. The goal was to make the patients as independent in their treatment as possible, Hui-Chan said.

They were then tested for their ability to maintain balance while shifting weight, leaning in different directions, and standing on moving surfaces to simulate a crowded bus. In these tests the tai chi group out-performed the control exercise group. The two groups performed about the same on another test, which was not focused solely on balance but involved sitting, standing, walking, and returning to sit down.

"The tai chi group did particularly better in conditions that required them to use their balance control," Hui-Chan said. "In only six weeks, we saw significant improvements. The ability to shift your weight is very important because all reaching tasks require it."

While learning tai chi is not easy, Hui-Chan has found that most people can learn the art if taught by a trained instructor. Many Chinese practice tai chi in morning group exercises, and Hui-Chan thinks the experience can work for Americans and other western nationalities.

"It can be taught at community centers, YWCAs or YMCAs, or in parks in the summer," she said.

Hui-Chan said that benefits of tai chi include improved strength and cardio fitness. Group classes also provide a healthy social gathering for isolated seniors at a fraction the cost of physiotherapy or personal training.


'/>"/>

Contact: Paul Francuch
francuch@uic.edu
312-996-3457
University of Illinois at Chicago
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study, meta-analysis examine factors associated with death from heatstroke
2. High alcohol consumption increases stroke risk among Chinese men
3. Heavy Drinking Boosts Stroke Risk for Chinese Men
4. High alcohol consumption increases stroke risk, Tulane study says
5. Broad-based group of physicians calls for improvement in stroke treatment
6. Continued Statin Use Boosts Post-Stroke Outcomes
7. U.S. Initiative Seeks to Boost Hispanic Stroke Awareness
8. Stopping Statins After Stroke Doubles Death Risk
9. Can brain-injured, partially-blind stroke patients regain some of their lost vision?
10. REACH Registry Highlights That Patients With Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) Suffer High Rates of Heart Attack, Stroke, Hospitalization, and Death
11. Link Between Air Pollution, Stroke Gets Clearer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) Portland today announced ... disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities. The group, which is being launched with the ... the opportunity to share stories and advice, seek help, and continue their education on ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... 2016 , ... U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, graces the cover of ... was inspired to practice medicine at an early age by his father, who was ... diagnoses and prescribing medicine,” he states. “It is about building relationships with people; relationships ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... two ostomy patients, standing as living proof that attitude and determination can combine ... and issues that spike around the holidays. This campaign will offer patients a ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... More than half of American teens report losing ... report speaking with their child about sex related topics, less than 60 percent spoke ... proud to announce the launch of its second edition of the “Sexual Wellness” campaign, ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... 02, 2016 , ... CloudLIMS.com, a class-leading provider of Laboratory ... CloudLIMS Lite helps biobanks, clinical, research and testing laboratories keep track of their ... version is a faster and a more efficient product, allowing batch processing of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... -- UCB is pleased to announce that 12 scientific abstracts have ... American Epilepsy Society (AES) Annual Meeting, which takes place ... USA. 1-12 Data being presented include ... ® (lacosamide) CV and BRIVIACT ® (brivaracetam) CV. ... state of the union of epilepsy care and antiepileptic drugs ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... -- Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN ), a leading ... announced Accelerated Share Repurchase (ASR) Program. Logo - ... , ... announced, the Company entered into a variable tenor ASR arrangement ... $10 billion of its ordinary shares. Approximately 40.5 million shares ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... , Nov 30, 2016 Research and ... Intracranial Pressure Monitoring Devices 2017 - MedCore" report to their offering. ... , , ... brain and the skull. In healthy individuals, it is circulated though the ... are cases where the amount of CSF surrounding the brain changes significantly. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: