The results of the meta-analysis of the RCTs evaluating the rehabilitation effects of Baduanjin exercise in stroke patients showed that Baduanjin effectively improved the balance function of lower limbs, sensory-motor function, nerve function, the ability to perform daily activities, sleep quality, and quality of life.
Balance is required for walking. The current study showed that regular Baduanjin exercise improved BBS score in stroke patients. Due to the high heterogeneity of intervention measures and subgroups, we analyzed the balance intervention measures and duration separately. The results indicated that Baduanjin combined with rehabilitation treatment showed significant improvement in BBS compared to the rehabilitation training alone. Moreover, intervention duration was also an important factor affecting the balance function. Regular physical activities can not only improve the positive emotions of individuals, but also relieve anxiety, anger, depression, irritability, and other negative emotional disorders , relieve pressure, improve self-confidence, and improve sleep quality . These may be important reasons why Baduanjin improves the quality of life in stroke patients.
Motor function is the key to improving the ability to perform daily activities in stroke patients. We found that Baduanjin combined with balance training and routine rehabilitation treatment effectively improved lower limb motor function, indicating that adjustment of breath improved the rehabilitation effect. Baduanjin exercise improved physical activity, fitness and cardiopulmonary function. The Baduanjin exercises are symmetrical and can help improve posture. Baduanjin helps maintain body balance by transferring the body’s center of gravity, moving the upper limbs, lower limbs, trunk, muscle tension, and relaxation are combined alternately. For example, “regulating the spleen and stomach requires a single lift,” with both hands up and down over the head, helping to regulate the spleen and stomach, the spleen and stomach are the important energy sources of the digestive system, which are important in promoting digestion; in “Head wagging tail to heart fire,” people squatted in horse step, cerebral apoplexy patients practice improved the function of lower limbs balance and sensorimotor, because Baduanjin relaxed the muscle, and pay attention to the psychological practice skills. In “Step climbing with both hands to strengthen kidney and waist,” people grabbed the toes with both hands along the leg, which strengthened kidney and waist function, improved immune system and urinary system functions.
The ability to perform daily activities guarantees basic independent functioning in stroke patients. The current study showed that regular Baduanjin exercise in stroke patients improved the ability to perform daily activities, neurological function deficit score, and self-care ability. Baduanjin can be completed within 20 minutes; it is a medium-to-low intensity aerobic exercise without any environmental constraints and helps maintain the balance using eight postures . Compared with other traditional methods, Baduanjin significantly improved physical and mental health , physiological functions, neuromusculoskeletal functions, cognitive function, and emotional health. These may be the reasons why Baduanjin improved the ability to perform daily activities in stroke patients.
There are some limitations to the study: (1) A few studies with a high risk of bias were included, probably due to the sub-optimal judgment of the evaluators, lack of hidden allocation; (2) It was difficult to single out the effect of Baduanjin from Baduanjin combined with other behavioral interventions; (3) Most of the included studies were short-term interventions without long-term follow-up; therefore, it is unclear whether there are any long-term benefits; (4) The number of studies on sensorimotor function, nerve function, quality of life, and the ability to perform daily activities was small; (5) Only compared randomized controlled experiments were conducted, studies on the relationship between Baduanjin and rehabilitation have not been explained much.