Can eight weeks of Tai Chi help patients with rheumatoid arthritis?
Not according to this pilot study but most preferred Tai Chi compared to physiotherapy.
Fifteen women with rheumatoid arthritis aged 40 to 70 years participated in an eight week Tai Chi exercise program (adapted Sun style for patients with arthritis) twice a week for 45 minutes. There was no change in muscle strength, flexibility, balance, cardiovascular fitness and measures of disease activity at 4 weeks and 8 weeks compared to baseline. Thirteen women preferred Tai Chi compared to physiotherapy.
The authors noted that a major limitation of this study was the small number of subjects and the short follow up period of 8 weeks.