Tai Chi for Arthritis – Will It Help?

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Tai Chi is an exercise that started as a Chinese tradition.

It involves martial arts blended with deep breaths and slow movements.

Tai Chi offers myriads of emotional and physical benefits.

Its benefits include enhancements of cognition and reduced depression and anxiety.

So can Tai Chi help arthritis?

Yes, Tai Chi may help you manage arthritis according to Arthritis.org and NRAS.

Likewise studies have shown it can increase knee strength and physical function.

But of course always consult your doctor first as your circumstances are unique.

In this article, I will explain how Tai Chi might help you if you have arthritis.

Which Exercise is Ideal if I Have Arthritis?

Generally, exercising is crucial for great health and even more crucial if you have arthritis.

But what type of exercise is essential for people with arthritis?

Not every exercise is ideal for people suffering from arthritis.

The effective exercise should minimise the risk of injuries and fulfil these objectives:

  • Strengthen muscles
  • Improve flexibility
  • Enhance cardiorespiratory fitness

Tai Chi accomplishes all these and even more.

How Might Tai Chai Help with Arthritis?

Increased fitness

When you increase your cardiorespiratory fitness, you strengthen your lungs and heart.

You will also enhance your stamina in the process. Arthritic joints require an adequate supply of oxygen and blood for healing.

If there is a great circulation of oxygen, blood, and fluids, your joints are kept flexible and your muscles are strengthened.

More so, Tai Chi is designed to improve your fitness levels gradually.

Increased muscular strength

Tai Chi strengthens your muscles

which protects your joints and keeps them stable.

As a result, it alleviates arthritic pain and reduces your risk of injury.

More muscular strength means that you will be more active which will subsequently increase body fluid and blood circulation in your body.

There are several cases of top-level sportsmen and athletes who have suffered from arthritis because of injuries.

Yet they can still perform at their highest levels because they have strong muscles offering protection for their joints.

When they retire from active sports, their activity levels reduce and their muscles weaken thus making their arthritis worsen.

By practicing Tai Chi, you will be exercising which means that your muscles will strengthen and your joint pains will significantly decrease.

Increased flexibility

Increased flexibility keeps your joints mobile which decreases stiffness.

Stiffness results in pain and therefore, improved flexibility will alleviate this pain.

Tai Chi moves all muscles, tendons, and joints gently throughout your body.

Several studies show that Tai Chi improves flexibility significantly.

Tai Chi has been shown to alleviate arthritic pain by assisting people suffering from arthritis stretch more which in turn increases their flexibility.

Additionally, it remarkably prevents the risk of recurrent falls.

Can I Do Tai Chi With Arthritis?

Studies have shown that Tai Chi can help with arthritis.

It does not involve expensive treatments, much space, or special clothing.

Tai Chi is not dependent on the weather and interestingly, can be a great social event.

Therefore, if you have arthritis, try practicing Tai Chi and see how it helps you!

References

Song, Lee E, Lam P, Bae S. Effects of Tai Chi exercise on pain, balance, muscle strength, and physical functioning in older women with osteoarthritis: A randomized clinical trial. Journal of Rheumatology.

Choi J.H., Moon J.S. and Song R, The Effects of Sun-Style Tai Chi Exercise on Physical Fitness and Fall Prevention in Fall-Prone Adults. The journal of Advanced Nursing.