Different Training Durations and Frequencies of Tai Chi for Bone Mineral Density Improvement
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April 25, 2021 -
Tai Chi shows potential as a safe and cost-effective intervention to improve bone mineral density (BMD). However, the various effects caused by different training durations and frequencies have not been evaluated. An updated systematic review performed by Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China and reported by the journal Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine aims to explore the effectiveness of Tai Chi in attenuating bone mineral density loss based on different training durations and frequencies.
The researchers conducted an extensive database search and identified a total of 23 randomized controlled trials involving 1582 patients. The aggregated results have shown significant benefits in favor of Tai Chi on BMD improvement in the lumbar spine, femoral neck, femoral trochanter, and Ward's triangle. Such favorable benefits in Tai Chi can only be seen when compared with the non-exercise group, and Tai Chi showed no significant improvement in BMD change when compared with other exercises group.
Subgroup analyses showed various effects of BMD improvement based on different training durations and frequencies of Tai Chi. Tai Chi is effective in attenuating BMD loss with an intervention frequency of more than 4 days/week in the lumbar spine, with an intervention frequency of more than 4 days/week or an intervention duration of longer than 10 months in the femoral neck, and with an intervention duration of longer than 10 months or a frequency of 4 days or fewer a week in Ward's triangle.
The results demonstrated that Tai Chi may have benefits in attenuating BMD loss. Different training durations and frequencies may result in variable effectiveness. Researchers should focus more on the training durations and frequencies of Tai Chi so that a more definitive claim can be made regarding the beneficial effects for BMD improvement.