A randomized trial of tai chi for fibromyalgia

January 01, 0001

A randomized trial of tai chi for fibromyalgia

These US authors conducted a single-blind, randomized trial of classic Yang-style tai chi as compared with a control intervention consisting of wellness education and stretching for the treatment of fibromyalgia (defined by American College of Rheumatology 1990 criteria). Sessions lasted 60 minutes each and took place twice a week for 12 weeks for each of the study groups. The primary end point was a change in the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) score (ranging from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more severe symptoms) at the end of 12 weeks. Secondary end points included summary scores on the physical and mental components of the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36). All assessments were repeated at 24 weeks to test the durability of the response.

They found: "Of the 66 randomly assigned patients, the 33 in the tai chi group had clinically important improvements in the FIQ total score and quality of life. Mean baseline and 12-week FIQ scores for the tai chi group were 62.9 and 35.1, respectively, versus 68.0 and 58.6, respectively, for the control group (significant). The corresponding SF-36 physical-component scores were 28.5 and 37.0 for the tai chi group versus 28.0 and 29.4 for the control group (significant), and the mental-component scores were 42.6 and 50.3 for the tai chi group versus 37.8 and 39.4 for the control group (significant). Improvements were maintained at 24 weeks (significant). No adverse events were observed."

The authors concluded: "Tai chi may be a useful treatment for fibromyalgia and merits long-term study in larger study populations."

Here is evidence to recommend tai chi for patients with fibromyalgia.

For the full abstract, click here.

N Engl J Med 363:743-754, 19 August 2010
© 2010 to the Massachusetts Medical Society
A Randomized Trial of Tai Chi for Fibromyalgia. Chenchen Wang, Christopher H. Schmid, Ramel Rones, et al. Correspondence to Dr. Wang: [email protected]

Category: M. Musculoskeletal. Keywords: tai chi, fibromyalgia, quality of life, randomized controlled trial, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Linda French, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 7 September 2010

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