Tai Chi can improve balance and contribute to fall prevention

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Sarcopenia, obesity, and osteoporosis are three interrelated entities which may share common pathophysiological factors. In the last decades, overall survival has drastically increased. Postmenopausal women, due to their estrogen depletion, are at higher risk of developing any of these three conditions or the three, which is termed osteosarcopenic obesity. One of the most common health problems among these patients is the elevated risk of falls and fractures. Falls and fall-related injuries are one of the major causes of mortality and morbidity in older adults, and have a significant impact on social, economical and health-related costs. 

Several extrinsic and intrinsic risk factors have been described that play a role in the etiology of falls. A therapeutic approach to osteosarcopenic obesity aimed at the prevention of falls must include several factors, and act on those risk elements which can be effectively modified. An adequate weight-loss diet and a good nutritional intake, with an appropriate amount of vitamin D and the right protein/carbohydrates ratio, may contribute to the prevention of falls. The recommendation of physical exercise, both traditional (resistance or aerobic training) and more recent varieties (Tai Chi, Pilates, body vibration), can improve balance and positively contribute to fall prevention, whether by itself or in combination with other therapeutic strategies. 

Finally, a pharmacological approach, especially one focused on hormone therapy, has shown to have a positive effect on postmenopausal women’s balance, leading to a decreased risk of falls. Click to learn how Chinese medicine treats Hyperlipemia.
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