Tai Chi for Balance

Azimzadeh E, Hosseini MA, Nourozi K, Davidson PM. Effect of Tai Chi Chuan on balance in women with multiple sclerosis. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2014 . pii: S1744-3881(14)00063-2. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2014.09.002. [Epub ahead of print]

OBJECTIVE:To examine the effect of Tai Chi Chuan on balance in women with multiple sclerosis in Iran.
DESIGN: 36 women with multiple sclerosis who were members of the Iranian Multiple Sclerosis Society participated in this study. 18 participants were allocated to the intervention group and 18 allocated to the control group. The intervention consisted of Yang style Tai Chi Chuan exercise sessions twice a week for 12 weeks.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: This study used a demographic questionnaire and the Berg Balance Scale (BBS) to collect data.
RESULTS: After 12 weeks, the mean score of the BBS in the intervention group demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in comparison with baseline status.
CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that Tai Chi Chuan could be used as a safe complementary intervention to increase balance in patients withmultiple sclerosis.

This small study examined Tai Chi on balance using the Berg Balance Scale

The Berg Balance Scale (BBS) was developed to measure balance among older people with impairment in balance function by assessing the performance of functional tasks. It is a valid
instrument used for evaluation of the effectiveness of interventions and for quantitative descriptions of function in clinical practice and research. 

14-item scale designed to measure balance of the older adult in a clinical setting.
Equipment needed: Ruler, two standard chairs (one with arm rests, one without),
footstool or step, stopwatch or wristwatch, 15 ft walkway

Completion Time: 15-20 minutes

Sitting to standing 
Standing unsupported 
Sitting unsupported 
Standing to sitting 
Standing with eyes closed 
Standing with feet together
Reaching forward with outstretched arm 
Retrieving object from floor
Turning to look behind
Turning 360 degrees 
Placing alternate foot on stool
Standing with one foot in front
Standing on one foot

Scoring: A five-point scale, ranging from 0-4. “0” indicates the lowest level of function and “4” the highest level of function. Total Score = 56

Interpretation: 41-56 = low fall risk
                        21-40 = medium fall risk
                         0 –20 = high fall risk

A change of 8 points is required to reveal a genuine change in function between 2 assessments