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Effect of Taijiquan practice versus wellness education on knee proprioception in patients with knee osteoarthritis: a randomized controlled trial

Author: Zhu QG, Huang LY, Li JX, Mao LJ, Zhang YY, Min F, Yu L
Page: 774

OBJECTIVE: To determine the effects of Taijiquan practice on knee proprioception in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA). METHODS: We conducted a randomized controlled trial comparing Taijiquan with a control condition (wellness education) in patients with knee OA. The patients participated in either a 60-min Taijiquan session three times weekly or a 60-min weekly educational session, for 24 consecutive weeks. The primary outcomes were changes in knee proprioception. Secondary outcomes were changes in the Western Ontario and McMaster University Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC). RESULTS: After 24 weeks, compared with the control group, the Taijiquan group demonstrated better improvements in the joint position sense in knee flexion (left: -2.12; right: -2.02), and knee extension (left: -2.22; right: -1.54). In addition, the Taijiquan group showed significantly greater improvements in the WOMAC scores (P < 0.05) for knee pain (left: -3.17 points; right: -3.74 points), stiffness (left: -2.43 points; right: -2.13 points), and physical function (left: -10.99 points; right: -8.00 points), compared with the control group. CONCLUSION: A 24-week Taijiquan practice resulted in a significant improvement in knee proprioception in patients with knee OA. The present findings add increasing evidence regarding the clinical benefits of Taijiquan as a therapeutic modality for patients to improve the reflex protection of knee joints against potentially harmful forces.

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