The effects of Tai Chi on peripheral somatosensation, balance, and fitness in Hispanic older adults with type 2 diabetes: a pilot and feasibility study

Jody Riskowski, Elisabeth I. Cavegn

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    Abstract

    Peripheral neuropathy and loss of somatosensation in older adults with type 2 diabetes can increase risk of falls and disability. In nondiabetic older adult population Tai Chi has been shown to enhance balance and fitness through improvements in somatosensation and neuromuscular control, and it is unclear if Tai Chi would elicit similar benefits in older adults with diabetes. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of an 8-week, three-hour-per-week Tai Chi intervention on peripheral somatosensation in older adults with type 2 diabetes. Participants were eight Hispanic older adults with type 2 diabetes who participated in the Tai Chi intervention and a convenience sample of Hispanic older adults as a referent group. Baseline and postintervention assessments included ankle proprioception, foot tactile sense, plantar pressure distribution, balance, and fitness. After intervention, older adults with type 2 diabetes showed significant improvements in ankle proprioception and fitness and decreased plantar pressure in the forefoot, with no statistical effect noted in balance or tactile sensation. Study results suggest that Tai Chi may be beneficial for older adults with diabetes as it improves ankle proprioception; however, study findings need to be confirmed in a larger sample size randomized controlled trial.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number767213
    Number of pages9
    JournalEvidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Keywords

    • tai chi
    • fitness
    • hispanic older adults
    • type 2 diabetes
    • pilot study
    • feasibility study

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