The effect of wheelchair Tai Chi on balance control and quality of life among survivors of spinal cord injuries: A randomized controlled trial

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2018 Nov;33:7-11. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2018.07.004. Epub 2018 Jul 20.


Background: Wheelchair-related falls are common in survivors with spinal cord injury (SCI). We aimed to assess the effects of wheelchair Tai Chi (WCTC) practice on balance control and quality of life (QOL) among SCI survivors.

Materials and methods: Forty SCI survivors were equally divided into WCTC and control groups. The control participants only received the normal rehabilitation intervention, while the WCTC intervention involved 30-min sessions, 2 sessions/day, and 5 days/week for 6 weeks. Static sitting balance, trunk muscle strength, handgrip strength, and QOL were evaluated and statistically analyzed.

Results: Compared with the control group, static sitting balance, left handgrip strength, and the psychological domain of QOL improved significantly in the WCTC group (time by group interaction, p < 0.05).

Conclusion: Six weeks' WCTC training improved static sitting balance and QOL in survivors with SCI. It may be a feasible, safe, and effective exercise for SCI survivors.

Keywords: Balance; Hand grip strength; Posture stability; Quality of life; Taijiquan.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Survivors
  • Tai Ji*
  • Wheelchairs*