Effects of Tai Chi Exercise on Glucose Control, Neuropathy Scores, Balance, and Quality of Life in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Neuropathy

Chungnam National University , College of Nursing, Daejeon, South Korea .
Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.) (Impact Factor: 1.59). 09/2012; 18(12). DOI: 10.1089/acm.2011.0690
Source: PubMed


The aim of this study was to determine the effects of Tai Chi exercise on glucose control, neuropathy scores, balance, and quality of life in patients with type 2 diabetes and neuropathy.

A pretest-posttest design with a nonequivalent control group was utilized to recruit 59 diabetic patients with neuropathy from an outpatient clinic of a university hospital. A standardized Tai Chi for diabetes program was provided, which comprised 1 hour of Tai Chi per session, twice a week for 12 weeks. Outcome variables were fasting blood glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin for glucose control, the Semmes-Weinstein 10-g monofilament examination scores and total symptom scores for neuropathy, single leg stance for balance, and the Korean version of the SF-36v2 for quality of life. Thirty-nine patients completed the posttest measures after the 12-week Tai Chi intervention, giving a 34% dropout rate.

The mean age of the participants was 64 years, and they had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes for more than 12 years. The status was significantly better for the participants in the Tai Chi group (n=20) than for their control (i.e., nonintervention) counterparts (n=19) in terms of total symptom scores, glucose control, balance, and quality of life.

Tai Chi improved glucose control, balance, neuropathic symptoms, and some dimensions of quality of life in diabetic patients with neuropathy. Further studies with larger samples and long-term follow-up are needed to confirm the effects of Tai Chi on the management of diabetic neuropathy, which may have an impact on fall prevention in this population.

1 Follower
37 Reads
  • Source
    • "Department of Health and Human Services, 1996) and the American College of Sports Medicine (American College Sport Medicine, 2010), the myriad relevant preventative benefits of routine exercise include: enhanced macro- and micro-vascular health (e.g., better endothelial function, reduced vasoconstriction and enhanced blood flow); reduced risk of hypertension, atherosclerosis and numerous cardiovascular diseases; decreased production of ROS and increased anti-oxidant defenses; reduced risks of certain types of cancer; increased muscle strength and cardiorespiratory endurance. With specific regard to the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy (i.e., diabetes), exercise is also well-known to reduce: blood glucose levels, the formation of Amadori products (Balducci et al., 2010; Ahn and Song, 2012; Kluding et al., 2012), the accumulation of AGEs (Boor et al., 2009; Yoshikawa et al., 2009; Kotani et al., 2011) and the risk of developing type II diabetes and metabolic syndrome (American College Sport Medicine, 2010; Li and Hondzinski, 2012). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Peripheral neuropathy is a widespread and potentially incapacitating pathological condition that encompasses more than 100 different forms and manifestations of nerve damage. The diverse pathogenesis of peripheral neuropathy affects autonomic, motor and/or sensory neurons, and the symptoms that typify the condition are abnormal cutaneous sensation, muscle dysfunction and, most notably, chronic pain. Chronic neuropathic pain is difficult to treat and is often characterized by either exaggerated responses to painful stimuli (hyperalgesia) or pain resulting from stimuli that would not normally provoke pain (allodynia). The objective of this review is to provide an overview of some pathways associated with the development of peripheral neuropathy and then discuss the benefits of exercise interventions. The development of neuropathic pain is a highly complex and multifactorial process, but recent evidence indicates that the activation of spinal glial cells via the enzyme glycogen synthase kinase 3 and increases in the production of both pro-inflammatory cytokines and brain derived neurotropic factor are crucial steps. Since many of the most common causes of peripheral neuropathy cannot be fully treated, it is critical to understand that routine exercise may not only help prevent some of those causes, but that it has also proven to be an effective means of alleviating some of the condition's most distressing symptoms. More research is required to elucidate the typical mechanisms of injury associated with peripheral neuropathy and the exercise-induced benefits to those mechanisms.
    Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 04/2014; 8(1):102. DOI:10.3389/fncel.2014.00102 · 4.29 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "In diabetic patients complicated with peripheral neuropathy , Ahn and Song [30] recruited 59 diabetic patients with neuropathy and assigned them into a Tai Chi group or a control group. The Tai Chi group participated in an exercise program comprised 1 hour of Tai Chi twice a week for 12 weeks. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Exercise training is the cornerstone of rehabilitation for patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD). Although high-intensity exercise has significant cardiovascular benefits, light-to-moderate intensity aerobic exercise also offers health benefits. With lower-intensity workouts, patients may be able to exercise for longer periods of time and increase the acceptance of exercise, particularly in unfit and elderly patients. Tai Chi Chuan (Tai Chi) is a traditional Chinese mind-body exercise. The exercise intensity of Tai Chi is light to moderate, depending on its training style, posture, and duration. Previous research has shown that Tai Chi enhances aerobic capacity, muscular strength, balance, and psychological well-being. Additionally, Tai Chi training has significant benefits for common cardiovascular risk factors, such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, poor exercise capacity, endothelial dysfunction, and depression. Tai Chi is safe and effective in patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI), coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery, congestive heart failure (HF), and stroke. In conclusion, Tai Chi has significant benefits to patients with cardiovascular disease, and it may be prescribed as an alternative exercise program for selected patients with CVD.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 11/2013; 2013(5):983208. DOI:10.1155/2013/983208 · 1.88 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "In diabetic patients complicated with peripheral neuropathy, Ahn and Song reported that Tai Chi training one hour twice per week for 12 weeks improved glucose control, balance, neuropathic symptoms, and some dimensions of quality of life [116]. A recent study reported that a 12-week Tai Chi program for diabetic patients obtained significant benefits in quality of life [117]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Tai Chi Chuan (Tai Chi) is a Chinese traditional mind-body exercise and recently, it becomes popular worldwide. During the practice of Tai Chi, deep diaphragmatic breathing is integrated into body motions to achieve a harmonious balance between body and mind and to facilitate the flow of internal energy (Qi). Participants can choose to perform a complete set of Tai Chi or selected movements according to their needs. Previous research substantiates that Tai Chi has significant benefits to health promotion, and regularly practicing Tai Chi improves aerobic capacity, muscular strength, balance, health-related quality of life, and psychological well-being. Recent studies also prove that Tai Chi is safe and effective for patients with neurological diseases (e.g., stroke, Parkinson's disease, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, cognitive dysfunction), rheumatological disease (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and fibromyalgia), orthopedic diseases (e.g., osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, low-back pain, and musculoskeletal disorder), cardiovascular diseases (e.g., acute myocardial infarction, coronary artery bypass grafting surgery, and heart failure), chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, and breast cancers. Tai Chi is an aerobic exercise with mild-to-moderate intensity and is appropriate for implementation in the community. This paper reviews the existing literature on Tai Chi and introduces its health-promotion effect and the potential clinical applications.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 09/2013; 2013(3-4):502131. DOI:10.1155/2013/502131 · 1.88 Impact Factor
Show more