The Beneficial Effects of Traditional Chinese Exercises for Adults with Low Back Pain: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
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)
... als (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.