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The change of seasons, whether it is winter to spring or summer to fall, can be tough times for seniors with osteoarthritis. Fluctuations in temperature can cause the barometric pressure to shift. Cold weather can exacerbate osteoarthritis and other health conditions, like congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The same is true for hot, humid weather.
When it comes to arthritis, researchers believe these weather changes can increase stiffness and swelling in joints. Both result in pain that can cause a senior to be sedentary. While there are medications that treat arthritis, many have side effects older adults find to be uncomfortable.
Physicians often suggest patients engage in low-impact exercises on a regular basis to minimize symptoms of osteoarthritis. One activity that many seniors find beneficial is the popular form of Chinese exercise, tai chi. It may be one of the best natural remedies for managing arthritis all year.
A New Way to Manage Pain Using an Old Form of Exercise
In a 2016 study that utilized 200 adults living with osteoarthritis, researchers compared the effectiveness of tai chi and physical therapy. Traditionally, physical therapy has been used to treat osteoarthritis. In this study, scientists hoped the 12-week trial would prove that seniors who practiced tai chi would find relief from the pain and symptoms associated with this chronic and often debilitating condition.
Participants were split into 2 groups. One used physical therapy and another practiced tai chi:
By the study’s conclusion, both groups reported their pain as improved, but the tai chi group experienced the greatest impact. The participants who practiced tai chi said not only was their pain reduced or gone, but they also felt better physically and mentally.
How can a form of exercise that looks easy and moves so slowly offer such an improvement in mental and physical well-being? The answer lies in greater muscle mass and increased flexibility.
How Tai Chi Improves Health
Wellness is a Way of Life at Sunrise
At Sunrise communities, resident wellness is at the forefront of everything we do. From well-balanced meals to daily fitness opportunities, purposeful living is a priority. Call (800) 934-0139 to schedule a virtual or in-person visit to a community near you today!