Tai Chi Studied For Muscular Neck Pain

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Romy Lauche, PhD Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine (ARCCIM) Faculty of Health | University of Technology Sydney

Dr. Romy Lauche

Romy Lauche, PhD
Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine (ARCCIM)
Faculty of Health | University of Technology Sydney

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Many people are affected by persistent or recurrent neck pain. So far the only intervention with real benefit is exercise therapy, independent of the type of exercise used. Despite the fact that musculoskeletal disorders including back and neck pain have been found predictive of Tai Chi use, no study to date has investigated its potential in the treatment of chronic non-specific neck pain.

Our study found that 12 weeks of Tai Chi significantly reduced neck pain intensity, and improved quality of life, however no differences were found between Tai Chi and conventional neck exercises. Both interventions were well tolerated, and participants were satisfied with either intervention.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The majority of chronic neck pain is of muscular origin, this means that a variety of exercise regimens will reduce neck pain to some extent. While most recommended exercise regimens include strength and endurance training, or specific neck exercises, this study has shown that similar positive results can be achieved with Tai Chi. So if people have a preference to Tai Chi as an alternative movement technique they might actually try whether Tai Chi will help them.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: The results of this study should be confirmed by future trials. It is also important to determine who the people are that benefit the most from such exercises; and what the factors are that predict the improvements in neck pain. Last but not least studies might examine whether regular Tai Chi practice can prevent neck pain, or the chronification of neck pain.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Tai Chi is not a treatment designed for neck pain, but a comprehensive mind-body intervention integrating movements, breathing, and meditation training. As such, effects due to Tai Chi practice are not limited to chronic pain, but may include other physical or mental health benefits.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

J Pain. 2016 Jun 23. pii: S1526-5900(16)30105-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2016.06.004. [Epub ahead of print]
The effects of Tai Chi and neck exercises in the treatment of chronic non-specific neck pain: A randomized controlled trial.
Lauche R1, Stumpe C2, Fehr J2, Cramer H3, Cheng YW4, Wayne PM5, Rampp T2, Langhorst J2, Dobos G2.

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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