The Effect of Taichi Practice on Attenuating Bone Mineral Density Loss: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of practicing Taichi on attenuating bone mineral density (BMD) loss.
Methods: Both electronic and manual searches were performed for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) examining Taichi for bone health. Two review authors independently performed study selection and data extraction according to inclusion criteria. A third party (Lin Luo) emerged to discuss with the two review authors and resolve a disagreement.
Results: Twenty RCTs were found to meet the inclusion criteria and used for meta-analysis with a total effective sample of 1604. The aggregated results from this systematic review have shown significant benefits in favour of Taichi on BMD at lumbar spine (Standard Mean Difference, SMD) = 0.29; 95% CI 0.15 to 0.43; p < 0.0001), femur neck (SMD = 0.56; 95% CI 0.38 to 0.75; p < 0.00001), femur trochanter (SMD = 0.04; 95% CI 0.01 to 0.07; p = 0.007), total hip BMD (SMD = 0.46; 95% CI 0.16 to 0.76; p = 0.003).
Conclusions: The aggregated results from this systematic review suggests that Taichi is effective on attenuating BMD loss at the regions of lumbar spine and proximal femur neck in special populations (e.g., older adults, perimenopausal and postmenopausal women, people with osteoarthritis, and cancer survivors). Researchers should further examine the effect of Taichi on the proximal femur trochanter and total hip so that a more definitive claim can be made regarding the beneficial effects for attenuating BMD loss in these musculoskeletal regions.