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Tai chi can help ease chronic neck pain: study

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Essen, Germany – Tai chi, a low-impact martial art that features slow and meditative movements, can be as useful as conventional exercises in alleviating neck pain, according to researchers from the University of Duisburg-Essen.

In a study of 114 adults who had chronic neck pain for three consecutive months, the researchers placed participants in one of three groups. One group performed tai chi for 75 to 90 minutes per week, another performed conventional neck exercises for 75 to 90 minutes per week, and a third group received no treatment.

Results showed that participants who did tai chi reported significantly less pain than participants who did not receive treatment – 37 percent said their pain was reduced by at least half. The results were roughly similar to those of the participants who performed conventional neck exercises, 46 percent of whom reported that their pain decreased by at least half.

“Because Tai Chi proved to be equally efficacious and safe as conventional neck exercises, it may be considered a suitable alternative for subjects with chronic neck pain,” researchers said.

The study was published in the September issue of The Journal of Pain.

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