Effects of a 16-week Tai Chi Intervention on Cutaneous Sensitivity and Proprioception Among Older Adults With and Without Sensory Loss

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Research in Sports Medicine






This study investigated the effects of a 16-week Tai Chi (TC) intervention on cutaneous sensitivity and proprioception among older adults with and without sensory loss. Thirty-six older adults were divided into sensory loss and control groups, and they underwent a 16-week TC intervention. Significant interactions were detected in heel cutaneous sensitivity (p = 0.046, F = 4.419) and knee flexion (p = 0.043, F = 4.580), extension (p = 0.027, F = 5.529) and ankle plantar-flexion proprioception (p = 0.037, F = 4.860). The post hoc test indicated that in the sensory loss group, heel cutaneous sensitivity threshold (p = 0.034) and knee flexion (p = 0.004), extension (p = 0.002) and ankle plantar-flexion (p = 0.023) proprioception threshold decreased at week 17, whereas in the control group, knee flexion (p = 0.029) proprioception threshold decreased at week 17. TC intervention improved cutaneous sensitivity at more sites and proprioception in more joints among the older adults with sensory loss. TC intervention is a good option for older adults to exercise, and it is more effective among older adults with sensory loss.