Effect of Tai Chi for the prevention or treatment of osteoporosis in elderly adults: protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis

Osteoporosis (OP) has been defined as a degenerative bone disease characterised by low bone mass and microstructural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to fragility and an increased risk of fractures, especially of the hip, spine and wrist. Exercise has been shown to benefit the maintenance of bone health and improvement of muscle strength, balance and coordination, thereby reducing the risk of falls and fractures. However, prior findings regarding the optimal types and regimens of exercise for treating low bone mineral density (BMD) in elderly people are not consistent. As an important component of traditional Chinese Qigong exercises, Tai Chi (TC) is an ancient art and science of healthcare derived from the martial arts. The objective of this study is to attempt to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of the existing studies on TC exercise as an intervention for the prevention or treatment of OP in elderly adults and to draw more useful conclusions regarding the safety and the effectiveness of TC in preventing or treating OP.

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