Tai Chi and Qi Gong May Help To Manage Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

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Tai chi and qi gong, two traditional mind and body practices from China, combine certain postures and gentle, dance-like body movements with mental focus, breathing, and relaxation. These practices may be helpful in managing some health problems, including osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee.


Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, occurs most often in the hands, knees, hips, and spine. Several studies have evaluated the effects of tai chi on knee OA, and in general, they showed short-term improvements in pain, stiffness, and physical function. Some studies also showed other desirable changes, such as improved balance or reduced depression.


Much less research has been done on qi gong, but the few studies that have been completed showed improvements in some OA symptoms.


Tai chi and qi gong are generally considered safe. But some people with OA have had side effects such as temporary increases in knee pain.


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