Tai Chi as a Tool to Improve Dynamic Balance in Patients with Parkinson's Disease from the Parkinson's Disease Foundation of Puerto Rico
Santiago-Flores, Francheska M.
Rolón-Colón, Lilliam E.
Báez-Class, Yaritza E.
Research Project Completed as a Partial Requirement for the Master of Science Degree in Physical TherapyParkinson’s disease (PD) is an idiopathic hypokinetic movement disorder of the Central Nervous System that produces impairments of the motor system, limiting the ability to preserve gait independence and activities of daily living. Individuals with PD are more prone to falls than the general population due to their postural instability. Non traditional approaches like Yoga, dance, and Tai Chi are recently being promoted to treat dynamic balance impairments in patients with PD. However, mores studies are necessary in order to validate the results obtained so far. In Puerto Rico there are no similar studies done with this population. A single group pre-test – post-test research was designed to measure changes in dynamic balance pre and post intervention based on six forms of Tai Chi. A group of nine participants were recruited from the Puerto Rican Parkinson’s disease Foundation who was in stages I, II, and III of Hoen and Yahr scale. Dynamic balance of the participants was assessed using the Berg Balance Scale; pre and post intervention results were compared. Significant changes (p<0.05) in dynamic balance of the participants were found. Individuals with PD who participated in twice weekly Tai Chi sessions showed improvements in dynamic balance, suggesting that this could become an adjunct tool the traditional balance exercises program in physical therapy.Physical Therapy Program, School of Health Professions, Medical Sciences Campus, University of Puerto Rico