Water Tai Chi (Ai Chi) for People Living with Parkinson's disease

Effects of an Ai Chi fall prevention programme for patients with Parkinson's disease.

By Pérez-de la Cruz S. from the Department of Infirmary, Physiotherapy and Medicine, University of Almería, Spain | García Luengo AV. from the Department of Mathematics, University of Almeria, Almeria, Spain | Lambeck J. from the University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium | Sep 2015


One of the main symptoms of Parkinson's disease is the high incidence of falls occurring due to the decline of both static and dynamic balance. The aim of this study is to determine the effect of an Ai Chi programme designed to prevent falls in patients with Parkinson's disease by improving both functional independence and perception of physical pain.


Fifteen patients diagnosed with Parkinson's disease (Hoehn and Yahr stages 1-3) participated in a 10-week Ai Chi programme consisting of 30 to 45-minute aquatic exercise sessions twice a week. The assessment measures used in this study were the pain visual analogue scale (VAS), the Tinetti gait and balance assessment tool, and the Timed Get up and Go test.


The results were calculated by applying the Friedman test to 3 related measurements: patients at baseline, at post-treatment (at the end of the 10 week programme) and after one month of follow-up. The data obtained showed a significant improvement (p <.001) in scores for pain perception, balance, and gait function after the treatment programme. Furthermore, patients continued to show significant improvements and the benefits remained at the one-month follow-up visit.


Ai Chi is a promising and feasible aquatic treatment for improving pain perception, balance, and functional capacity in patients diagnosed with mild or moderate Parkinson's disease.


Copyright © 2015 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Published by Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.


PMID: 26372407