Some news announced at the American College of Rheumatology conference this past week in San Francisco showed that tai-chi was beneficial for relieving pain and disability from knee osteoarthritis compared to the control group that stretched and underwent wellness education. Strengthening the quads, with sustained, slow movements of tai chi showed that the cartilage behind the knee was preserved, alleviating pain and expanding range of motion.
I love how these scientists compared the standard treatment for knee pain with such a non-medical “treatment” of tai chi to see if one would be better. As medical treatments fall short in addressing our aches and pains…for me, dancing has always made me feel better. So wouldn’t it be an interesting study to see how tai chi compares with similar practices? Yoga? Ballroom dancing?
I’m also wondering how much of tai chi relates to the physical benefits of the exercise as opposed to the emotional benefits — does it improve pain because it simply makes the person feel better doing tai chi?
(Flickr photo credit: cheetah100)