Objectives: For this paper, we aimed to investigate the effects of Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) versus the Core Stability Training (CST) program on neuromuscular function (NF) in the lower extremities among aging individuals who suffered from non-specific chronic lower back pain (NLBP). Regarding the design, during a 12-week intervention, a single-blinded randomized controlled trial was used to compare two intervention groups with a control group on the parameters of NF. Methods: Forty-three Chinese community-dwellers were randomly assigned into two intervention groups (three sessions per week, with each session lasting 60 min in TCC and CST) and a control group. The patient-based Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) was used to measure the level of perceived pain, while parameters of NF as primary outcomes were measured by the Biodex System 3 Isokinetic Dynamometer. Results: For the knee joint, we observed significant differences in the endurance of left extension at a speed of 60°/s: (1) between TCC and control groups (p < 0.01); (2) between CST and control groups (p < 0.01). For the ankle joint, significant differences between CST and control groups were observed on the peak torque of left dorsiflexion (p < 0.05) and the endurance of the left plantar flexion at a speed of 60°/s (p < 0.05). In addition, we observed a significant difference between TCC and control groups in the endurance of the right plantar flexion (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Chen-style TCC and CST were found to have protective effects on NF in aging individuals with NLBP, while alleviating non-specific chronic pain.
Keywords: Tai Chi; exercise; lower back pain; muscular strength; neuromuscular function.