Navigation Links
Stroke survivors improve balance with tai chi

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
University of Illinois at Chicago

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:
(Date:12/1/2015)... CA (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... States, today announced that its iconic bottle has won top honors in Beverage World ... The Company also announced that it has been selected as a 2015 U.S.A. ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Cambridge, MA (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... 2013, in part due to decreases in utilization of hospital and nonhospital care, according ... report, CompScope™ Medical Benchmarks for Louisiana, 16th Edition , found medical payments per ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... 7th Annual 2015 Golden Bridge Business Awards under the New Products and Services ... capex web based sample management software that helps labs organize data ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... the United States. Podiatrists are well aware that psychology-based patient non-compliance (disobedience of ... often catastrophic contributors to diseases of the diabetic foot. The American Board ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... IL (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... keeping their independence is everything. That is why Hollister Incorporated has launched the ... to offer this next product in the VaPro touch free catheter portfolio,” said ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... 1, 2015 Pharma Tech Outlook recently conducted ... Clinical Data Management Solution Providers - 2015 .  After ... comprising CEOs, CIOs, VCs, analysts, and the Pharma Tech ... of top 10 clinical data management solution providers (check ... 14 and 36 respectively). --> ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Breg, Inc ., a premier provider ... it has been awarded three contracts by Novation, a ... will have access to improved pricing for Breg,s portfolio ... goods dedicated to advancing orthopedic care.  ... population, rising prevalence of chronic conditions and the health ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , December 1, 2015 Russia ... clinical trials. 70% of new drugs registered in Europe ... Russia . --> Russia has always been ... of new drugs registered in Europe in 2015 ... --> Russia has always been a country ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: