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J Pain. 2016 Jul;17(7):796-805. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2016.03.003. Epub 2016 Mar 30.

Qigong or Yoga Versus No Intervention in Older Adults With Chronic Low Back Pain-A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Author information

1
Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany. Electronic address: michael.teut@charite.de.
2
Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
3
Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany; Institute for Complementary and Integrative Medicine, University Hospital Zurich and University of Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of the reduction of chronic lower back pain in older adults using either yoga classes or qigong classes compared with no intervention. Older adults (65 years of age and older) with chronic low back pain were enrolled in and randomly allocated to: 1) yoga (24 classes, 45 minutes each, during 3 months), 2) qigong (12 classes, 90 minutes each, during 3 months), or 3) a control group who received no additional intervention. The pain intensity item of the Functional Rating Index after 3 months was used as primary outcome parameter. A total of 176 patients were randomized (n = 61 yoga, n = 58 qigong, n = 57 control; mean age 73 ± 5.6 years, 89% female). The mean adjusted pain intensity after 3 months was 1.71 for the yoga group (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.54-1.89), 1.67 for the qigong group (95% CI, 1.45-1.89), and 1.89 for no intervention (95% CI, 1.67-2.11). No statistically significant group differences were observed. Possible explanations for this lack of pain relief might include the ineffectiveness of interventions, inappropriate outcomes, or differences in pain perception and processing in older adults.

PERSPECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of the reduction of chronic lower back pain in older adults using either yoga classes or qigong classes compared with no intervention. This 3-armed randomized trial with 176 older adults showed that yoga and qigong were not superior to no treatment in reducing pain and increasing quality of life.

KEYWORDS:

Yoga; low back pain; older adults; qigong

PMID:
27046802
DOI:
10.1016/j.jpain.2016.03.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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