Tai Chi for Fibromyalgia: Slow and Deliberate Progress?

From The New England Journal of Medicine Communications Blog:

Fibromyalgia is a vexing clinical problem. Characterized by chronic, widespread musculoskeletal pain, the management of this syndrome is complicated by its uncertain pathophysiology and a scarcity of highly effective treatments. When the best-known combination of education, exercise, cognitive behavioral therapy, and medications offer incomplete relief, patients and physicians are often left to wonder: Can anything further be done?


In this week’s issue of NEJM, Wang et al report on a randomized, single-blind trial comparing tai chi training to a control intervention of wellness education and stretching for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Sixty-six patients at Tufts Medical Center were randomized to undergo twice-weekly sessions in either the tai chi or control intervention arm over a twelve-week period. Changes to a well-validated patient-rated severity index, the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) score, served as the primary outcome measure for the trial...