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Qigong Benefits Low Back Pain

Qigong benefits Low Back Pain

This paper is a meta-analysis of 11 Randomized Controlled Trials involving 886 individuals with low back pain. Their aim was to investigate the effects of Traditional Chinese Exercise (TCE) on low back pain and disability.

They defined TCE as Tai Chi, Qigong, Baduanjin, Yijinjing, or Wuqinxi.

The authors concluded that TCE may have beneficial effects on subjective pain reporting scales (0-10 scale), and subjective disability questionnaires (Oswestry Disability Index and the Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire). There were also no significant adverse effects reported from the TCE interventions. The authors reported that TCE incorporates muscular strength, stabilization, static, and dynamic balance to reduce pain, and while practicing TCE, postural training can improve flexibility depending on the stimulation of muscles during static and dynamic movements.

Also TCE can improve the back range of motion through posture control, lumbar muscular flexibility, core strengthening, and breathing.Traditional Chinese Exercises are a safe and effective treatment option for those individuals with low back pain.


The Beneficial Effects of Traditional Chinese Exercises for Adults with Low Back Pain: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.Zhang Y, Loprinzi P,, Yang L, Liu J, Liu S, Zou L

Medicina (Kaunas). 2019 Apr 29;55(5). pii: E118. doi: 10.3390/medicina55050118.

Objective: The aim of this meta-analytic review was to quantitatively examine the effects of traditional Chinese exercises (TCE) on pain intensity and back disability in individuals with low back pain (LBP).

Methods: Potential articles were retrieved using seven electronic databases (Medline, Embase, Cinahl, Web of Science, Cochrane library, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, and Wanfang). The searched period was from inception to 1 March 2019. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the effect of TCE on pain intensity and back disability in LBP patients were included. Pooled effect sizes were calculated using the random-effects models and 95% confidence interval (95% CI).

Results: Data from eleven RCTs (886 individuals with LBP) meeting the inclusion criteria were extracted for meta-analysis. Compared with the control intervention, TCE induced significant improvements in the visual analogue scale (VAS) (Hedge's g = -0.64, 95% CI -0.90 to -0.37, p < 0.001), Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ) (Hedge's g = -0.41, 95% CI -0.79 to -0.03, p = 0.03), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) (Hedge's g = -0.96, 95% CI -1.42 to -0.50, p < 0.001), and cognitive function (Hedge's g = -0.62, 95% CI -0.85 to -0.39, p < 0.001). In a meta-regression analysis, age (β = 0.01, p = 0.02) and total exercise time (β = -0.0002, p = 0.01) were associated with changes in the VAS scores, respectively. Moderator analyses demonstrated that Tai Chi practice (Hedge's g = -0.87, 95% CI -1.38 to -0.36, p< 0.001) and Qigong (Hedge's g = -0.54, 95% CI -0.86 to -0.23, p < 0.001) reduced VAS scores. Interventions with a frequency of 1-2 times/week (Hedge's g = -0.53, 95% CI -0.98 to -0.07, p = 0.02) and 3-4 times/week (Hedge's g = -0.78, 95% CI -1.15 to -0.42, p < 0.001) were associated with reduced VAS scores, but this significant reduction on this outcome was not observed in the weekly training frequency of ≥5 times (Hedge's g = -0.54, 95% CI -1.16 to 0.08, p = 0.09).

Conclusions: TCE may have beneficial effects for reducing pain intensity for individuals with LBP, regardless of their pain status.

KEYWORDS: Qigong; Tai Chi; disability; mindfulness; randomized controlled trialPMID: 31036791 DOI: 10.3390/medicina55050118