Skip to main content
Article
Effect of 12 weeks of Tai Chi training on soleus Hoffmann reflex and control of static posture in older adults
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Colleen M Cartwright, Southern Cross University
  • Yungsheng Chen, Southern Cross University
  • Shi Zhou, Southern Cross University
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
6-1-2011
Peer Reviewed
Peer-Reviewed
Abstract
Objective To investigate the effect of 12 weeks of Tai Chi training on soleus (SOL) Hoffmann reflex (H-reflex) modulation and postural control in standing under 4 sensory conditions in older adults. Design Experimental research design with pre- and posttraining tests in a training group and a control group. Setting University biomechanics laboratory. Participants Community-dwelling older adults (N=34) were assigned to a training (n=20; mean ± SD age, 72.9±4.4y) and a control (n=14; mean ± SD age, 72.9±6.5y) group. Intervention Tai Chi participants attended a 1-hour session of Yang style Tai Chi, 3 sessions a week, for 12 weeks, while control participants maintained their regular daily activities during the same period. Main Outcome Measures SOL H-reflex (maximal amplitudes of H-reflex [Hmax] and M-wave [Mmax] waves) and mean displacement of the center of pressure (COP) in the anterior-posterior (COPA-P) and medial-lateral (COPM-L) directions were measured during bipedal standing, with the feet placed on a forceplate and the heels 6cm apart, under 4 sensory conditions: stable surface with eyes open, stable surface with eyes closed, unstable surface with eyes open, and unstable surface with eyes closed. Results SOL Hmax/Mmax ratio in the Tai Chi group was upregulated significantly in all 4 sensory tasks after the 12-week Tai Chi training (P<.05). No significant change in COP measurements (mean displacement of COPA-P and COPM-L) was found in either the Tai Chi or control group after the 12-week period. Conclusions An increase in SOL Hmax/Mmax ratio during static postural tasks is observed after 12 weeks of Tai Chi training in older adults under all 4 sensory conditions. However, training-induced changes in H-reflex were not accompanied by improvement of performance in the static postural control tasks.
Citation Information

Cartwright, C, Chen, YS & Zhou, S 2011, 'Effect of 12 weeks Tai Chi training on soleus H-reflex and control of static posture in older adults', Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, vol. 92, no. 6, pp. 886-891.

Published version available from:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2010.12.043