I have heard and read from various (low quality) sources that Tai Chi is effective to treat tendinitis (a.k.a. tendonitis). E.g.:


Gentle exercises such as Tai Chi, Yoga, and stretching, swimming and light weight lifting are all may help cure tendonitis.

Personal experience:

About three years ago I was caught up in such a project and developed a problem with RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury, or Tendonitis) in my right arm. I have tried this experiment twice and am now satisfied that my daily Tai Chi is extremely important in keeping RSI at bay.

Is there any study on Tai Chi's effectiveness to treat tendinitis?

  • 1
    RSI is not tendinitis. RSI is a centrally mediated pain disorder. What sort of tendinitis are you asking about? The tendinitis associated with inflammatory arthritis, or the age related non-inflammatory degenerative tendinitis, or that related to sports injuries?
    – HappySpoon
    Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 8:04
  • The term RSI is indeed vague: cmu.edu/rsi/WhatIsRSI.htm ; en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repetitive_strain_injury . I see tendinitis is often mentioned as one form of RSI. I am interested in tendinitis related to sports injuries. Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 23:25

1 Answer 1


There are no specific studies on tendinitis.

But tendinitis is an inflammatory condition and:

TCC (tai chi chih) can be considered a useful behavioral intervention to reduce circulating levels of IL-6 in older adults who show elevated levels of this inflammatory marker and are at risk for inflammation-related morbidity [1].

Tai chi has improved symptoms in other inflammatory conditions (and non-inflammatory).

Knee osteoarthritis:

Overall, Tai Chi appears to reduce pain and improve physical function for people with knee OA. The measures of benefit include patient-reported outcomes as well as physician assessments and several physical function tests [2].

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA):

Tai Chi appears safe and may be beneficial for functional class I or II RA. These promising results warrant further investigation into the potential complementary role of Tai Chi for treatment of RA [3].


Tai chi may be a useful treatment for fibromyalgia and merits long-term study in larger study populations [4].


  1. Irwin MR, Olmstead R. Mitigating cellular inflammation in older adults: a randomized controlled trial of Tai Chi Chih. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2012 Sep;20(9):764-72. doi: 10.1097/JGP.0b013e3182330fd3. PubMed PMID: 21934474.
  2. Wang C, Schmid CH, Hibberd PL, Kalish R, Roubenoff R, Rones R, McAlindon T. Tai Chi is effective in treating knee osteoarthritis: a randomized controlled trial. Arthritis Rheum. 2009 Nov 15;61(11):1545-53. doi: 10.1002/art.24832. PubMed PMID: 19877092.
  3. Wang C. Tai Chi improves pain and functional status in adults with rheumatoid arthritis: results of a pilot single-blinded randomized controlled trial. Med Sport Sci. 2008;52:218-29. doi: 10.1159/000134302. PubMed PMID: 18487901.
  4. Chenchen Wang, M.D., M.P.H., Christopher H. Schmid, Ph.D., Ramel Rones, B.S., Robert Kalish, M.D., Janeth Yinh, M.D., Don L. Goldenberg, M.D., Yoojin Lee, M.S., and Timothy McAlindon, M.D., M.P.H. A Randomized Trial of Tai Chi for Fibromyalgia. N Engl J Med 2010; 363:743-754August 19, 2010DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa0912611
  • Your fourth reference has been criticized: sciencebasedmedicine.org/…
    – user5582
    Commented Jul 21, 2014 at 17:39
  • What is Tai Chi in your context? Tai Chi is a martial art, in good schools usually mixed with running, heavy lifting and fight training. If you are speaking about about training the "forms", that's about 5% of Tai Chi. I would be amazed to see "tendinitis" improved by running or fight training.
    – Sulthan
    Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 10:03
  • @Sulthan Two of them say that they're "classic Yang style" (forms, presumably), and one said that it's Tai chi chih.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 16:00

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .