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Tai Chi Qigong for Health >> Tai Chi Qigong for Pain

Tai chi Safe and Effective for People with Persistent Low Back Pain
 
October 29, 2011 -
This study is a joint effort of the George Institute for Global Health and University of Sydney. It is published in the November 2011 issue of Arthritis Care Research.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of tai chi exercise on persistent low back pain.

 

METHODS: We performed a randomized controlled trial in a general community setting in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Participants consisted of 160 volunteers between ages 18 and 70 years with persistent nonspecific low back pain. The tai chi group (n = 80) consisted of 18 40-minute sessions over a 10-week period delivered in a group format by a qualified instructor. The waitlist control group continued with their usual health care. Bothersomeness of back symptoms was the primary outcome. Secondary outcomes included pain intensity and pain-related disability. Data were collected at pre- and post-intervention and analyzed by intent-to-treat.

 

RESULTS: Tai chi exercise reduced bothersomeness of back symptoms by 1.7 points on a 0-10 scale, reduced pain intensity by 1.3 points on a 0-10 scale, and improved self-report disability by 2.6 points on the 0-24 Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire scale. The follow-up rate was >90% for all outcomes. These results were considered a worthwhile treatment effect by researchers and participants.

 

CONCLUSION: This is the first pragmatic randomized controlled trial of tai chi exercise for people with low back pain. It showed that a 10-week tai chi program improved pain and disability outcomes and can be considered a safe and effective intervention for those experiencing long-term low back pain symptoms.

 

 


 
 

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