Researchers investigating the effectiveness of the ancient Chinese martial art, Tai Chi for the treatment of osteoarthritis found that not only did it work as well as physical therapy, it also significantly relieved depression among the study participants.

(Source: HealthDay[Internet]. HealthDay;©2016. Tai Chi: Rx for Arthritic Knees; 2016 May 23[cited 2016 May 31]. Available from https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_158988.html

Summary of the research is available at: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_158988.html

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Journal article abstract is available at : http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2522435

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Anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy are standard treatments for osteoarthritis better known as the “the wear and tear” arthritis. Drugs aim to reduce swelling and pain in the joints while physical therapy aims to strengthen the muscles that contribute to healthy knee function. Tai Chi, on the other hand, is a more than 5000 year old Chinese mind-body practice that combines meditation with slow, gentle, graceful movements, deep breathing, and relaxation. It improves strength, flexibility, coordination, and balance.

If you have osteoarthritis and are looking for an alternative or an addition to your present treatment routine, you might want to give Tai Chi a try. 

Tai Chi classes are held in a variety of locations throughout the community including yoga and/or tai chi centers, the YMCA, gyms or athletic centers, and martial arts schools.

For More information

Harvard Medical School – The health benefits of tai chi
http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-health-benefits-of-tai-chi

Arthritis Foundation and Tai Chi (video)