A randomized controlled trial of 8-form Tai chi improves symptoms and functional mobility in fibromyalgia patients
Clinical Rheumatology, 05/17/2012
Jones KD et al. – Tai chi appears to be a safe and an acceptable exercise modality that may be useful as adjunctive therapy in the management of fibromyalgia (FM) patients.Methods
- The authors conducted a parallel–group randomized controlled trial FM–modified 8–form Yang–style Tai chi program compared to an education control.
- Participants met in small groups twice weekly for 90 min over 12 weeks.
- The primary endpoint was symptom reduction and improvement in self–report physical function, as measured by the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), from baseline to 12 weeks.
- Secondary endpoints included pain severity and interference (Brief Pain Inventory (BPI), sleep (Pittsburg sleep Inventory), self–efficacy, and functional mobility.
- Of the 101 randomly assigned subjects (mean age 54 years, 93 % female), those in the Tai chi condition compared with the education condition demonstrated clinically and statistically significant improvements in FIQ scores (16.5 vs. 3.1, p = 0.0002), BPI pain severity (1.2 vs. 0.4, p = 0.0008), BPI pain interference (2.1 vs. 0.6, p = 0.0000), sleep (2.0 vs. –0.03, p = 0.0003), and self–efficacy for pain control (9.2 vs. –1.5, p = 0.0001).
- Functional mobility variables including timed get up and go (–.9 vs. –.3, p = 0.0001), static balance (7.5 vs. –0.3, p = 0.0001), and dynamic balance (1.6 vs. 0.3, p = 0.0001) were significantly improved with Tai chi compared with education control.
- No adverse events were noted.
- Twelve weeks of Tai chi, practice twice weekly, provided worthwhile improvement in common FM symptoms including pain and physical function including mobility.