Document Detail

Neural mechanisms underlying balance control in Tai Chi.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18487889     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The efficacy of Tai Chi (TC) to improve neuromuscular response characteristics underlying dynamic balance recovery in balance-impaired seniors at high risk for falling was examined during perturbed walking. METHODS: Twenty-two subjects were randomized into TC or control groups. Nineteen subjects (68-92 years, BERG 44 or less) completed the study. TC training incorporated repetitive exercises using TC's essential motor/biomechanical strategies, techniques, and postural components. Control training used axial exercises, balance awareness/education and stress reduction. Groups trained 1.5 h/day, 5 days/week for 3 weeks. After post-testing, controls received TC training. Subjects walked across a force plate triggered to move forward 15 cm at 40 cm/s at heelstrike. Tibialis anterior and medial gastrocnemius responses during balance recovery were recorded from electromyograms. Four clinical measures of balance were also examined. RESULTS: TC subjects, but not controls, significantly reduced tibialis anterior response time from 148.92 +/- 45.11 ms to 98.67 +/- 17.22 ms (p < or = 0.004) and decreased co-contraction of antagonist muscles (p < or = 0.003) of the perturbed leg. All clinical balance measures significantly improved after TC. CONCLUSIONS: TC training transferred to improved neuromuscular responses controlling the ankle joint during perturbed gait in balance-impaired seniors who had surgical interventions to their back, hips, knees and arthritis. The fast, accurate neuromuscular activation crucial for efficacious response to slips also transferred to four clinical measures of functional balance. Significant enhancement was achieved with 3 weeks of training.
Strawberry Gatts
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Randomized Controlled Trial    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Medicine and sport science     Volume:  52     ISSN:  0254-5020     ISO Abbreviation:  Med Sport Sci     Publication Date:  2008  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-05-19     Completed Date:  2008-09-04     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8402440     Medline TA:  Med Sport Sci     Country:  Switzerland    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  87-103     Citation Subset:  IM    
Clinical Biomechanics and Rehabilitation Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1919 W. Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60602, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Aged, 80 and over
Ankle Joint / physiology
Cross-Over Studies
Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
Proprioception / physiology*
Tai Ji*
Walking / physiology

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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