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T'ai Chi for Arthritis

A study from Springfield College in Massachusetts shows that T'ai Chi is an ideal exercise for a person with arthritis.

The ends of bones where they come together at joints are soft so they have to be protected by a thick white gristle called cartilage. Arthritis occurs when cartilage is damaged, and once damaged, cartilage cannot heal.

People with arthritis should exercise to strengthen their muscles. This helps to stabilize their joints so they are not so loose that every movement chips off more cartilage. Exercises that put hard force on joints break cartilage, so the best exercise for people with arthritis is one that strengthens muscles without applying great force on joints. In T'ai Chi, a person moves very slowly for extended periods of time. Slow movements put great force on muscles to cause significant gain in strength without putting much force on joints.

More on T'ai Chi

Effects of T'ai Chi training on function and quality of life indicators in older adults with osteoarthritis. CA Hartman, TM Manos, C Winter, DM Hartman, BQ Li, JC Smith. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 2000, Vol 48, Iss 12, pp 1553-1559Address Hartman CA, 1475 Massacusetts Ave, 459, Lexington,MA 02420 USA

Checked 2/13/17

May 29th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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