Effects of resistance and Tai Ji training on mobility and symptoms in knee osteoarthritis patients


Background: No studies have compared effectiveness of resistance training and Tai Ji exercise on relieving symptoms of knee osteoarthritis (OA). The purpose of the study was to evaluate effects of a 10-week Tai Ji and resistance training intervention on improving OA symptoms and mobility in seniors with knee OA. Methods: Thirty-one seniors (60-85 years) were randomly assigned to a Tai Ji program (n=12), a resistance training program (n=13), and a control group (n=6). All participants completed the Western Ontario and MacMaster (WOMAC) Osteoarthritis Index and performed three physical performance tests (6-min walk, timed-up-and-go, and timed stair climb and descent) before and after the 10-week intervention. Results: The participants in the resistance training group significantly improved on the timed-up-and-go test (p=0.001), the WOMAC pain sub-score (p=0.006), WOMAC stiffness sub-score (p<0.001), and WOMAC physical function sub-score (p=0.011). The Tai Ji group significantly improved on the timed-up-and-go test (p<0.001), but not on the WOMAC scores. Conclusion: Resistance training was effective for improving mobility and improving the symptoms of knee OA. Tai Ji was also effective for improving mobility, but did not improve knee OA symptoms. © 2013 Shanghai University of Sport.

Publication Title

Journal of Sport and Health Science