Effects of Wuqinxi in the Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Chongjie Yao, Zhenrui Li, Shuaipan Zhang, Zhiwei Wu, Qingguang Zhu, Lei Fang
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: ECAM 2020, 2020: 1428246
Low back pain (LBP) is one of the major concerns of the current health care. The guidelines for chronic LBP recommend traditional Chinese exercise as an effective treatment. As one of the representatives of traditional Chinese exercise, Wuqinxi has been famous in China for its effects on improving health and treating chronic diseases for thousands of years. The objectives of the study were to assess the effects of Wuqinxi in the patients with chronic LBP on pain intensity, trunk muscle strength, and quality of life. The primary outcome measure was assessed by the Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ), including the Visual Analog Scale (VAS) and Present Pain Intensity (PPI) as the subtables. The effects of Wuqinxi on the quality of life were also assessed by the Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) from physical component summary (PCS), mental component summary (MCS), and sleep quality. Besides, the electrical activities of the rectus abdominis (RA), obliquus externus abdominis (OEA), lumbar erector spinae (ES), and multifidus (MF) were assessed by integrated electromyogram (iEMG) after the end of the intervention. Both the groups showed statistically significant improvement in SF-MPQ, SF-36, PSQI, and iEMG at 12 weeks and 24 weeks when compared with baseline ( P < 0.05). However, Wuqinxi demonstrated better effects in SF-MPQ and MCS after 24 weeks of intervention compared with the general exercise ( P < 0.05). The patients in the Wuqinxi group (WQXG) also showed a significantly higher iEMG on OEA than the general exercise group (GEG) in 30°/s and 90°/s ( P < 0.05). Our results showed that Wuqinxi had better effects on chronic LBP for a long time compared with general exercise, including pain intensity and quality of life. Thus, Wuqinxi should be recognized as a possible standalone therapy and self-management skill in chronic LBP, which is suitable for long-term practice.

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