Want Relief From Knee Pain? Try Tai Chi

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)

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About Jen

I’m a Korean-American living in the bay area, I studied public health and social work in grad school, and I have an obsession for anything theater related, especially ballet and Broadway musicals. I just spent three years in NYC so I am still adjusting to normal winter weather and having a car, and most of the time, I am busy funding my passion for theater with a full-time job in healthcare public relations. On any given day, you can find me watching Project Runway, shopping, doing yoga, skipping to the theater, or looking for the perfect cocktail.
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