Can Tai Chi Help with Back Pain?
Back pain. Those two little words resonate with so many! After all, back pain affects 8 out of 10 people at some point in their lives. The pain can be dull and constant or sudden and sharp. Needless to say, those who suffer from chronic pain seek relief wherever and however they can. Treatments vary depending on your condition, and they may include the use of over-the-counter pain relievers, rest, surgery, injections and chiropractic help.
Lifestyle changes like adding an exercise regimen to one's schedule may help prevent back pain. You may have heard that yoga can help with back pain. But did you know that tai chi, a Chinese martial art, also is making a mark in medical community regarding back pain?
A recently published systematic review and meta-analysis concludes that Tai Chi alone or as additional therapy for low back pain, "may decrease pain and improve function disability for patients with LBP."
In 2017 The American College of Physicians recommended that "physicians and patients initially select non-drug therapy with exercise, multidisciplinary rehabilitation, acupuncture, mindfulness-based stress reduction, tai chi, yoga, motor control exercise (MCE), progressive relaxation, electromyography biofeedback, low level laser therapy, operant therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, or spinal manipulation."
This Consumer Reports article dives further into this suggestion with their own survey of more than 3,500 people who confirmed that tai chi helped provide relief from back pain. "Nearly 90 percent of respondents who used tai chi for back pain (or yoga or a similar exercise) found it helpful."
As you can see, there is mounting information indicating that therapies such as Tai Chi may be a helpful against chronic low back pain.
Read more here for additional insight and three Tai Chi moves to try out yourself. Of course you should consult with your physician before trying any new practice or exercise first.