Objectives: To assess if tai chi, a traditional Chinese form of exercise, could improve proprioception in old people and if the effects of tai chi on proprioception are more evident than other exercise forms in the elderly.
Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is an increasing problem among older adults, causing pain, functional limitations, and reduced quality of life. The traditional Chinese practice of tai chi, with its combination of physical and mental components, seems promising for OA patients; however, scientific evidence to support its use for this purpose has been limited.
Thirty-percent of ambulatory seniors over the age of 65 living in a community fall every year. Another 50% of the same age group living in long-term care facilities suffer from at least one fall annually. One in 10 of these falls in turn results in a fracture.1 Falls represent the leading cause of death for people over 65 and the number of fall-related deaths continues to increase with every passing year.
Tai chi chuan (tai chi) is one of the most popular forms of exercise in China (and arguably the world). Originally practiced as a form of martial arts, tai chi consists of breathing exercises performed in conjunction with a series of body postures.