A Narrative Review of Movement-Based Mind-Body Interventions: Effects of Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qigong for Back Pain Patients

Holist Nurs Pract. Jan/Feb 2020;34(1):3-23. doi: 10.1097/HNP.0000000000000360.

Abstract

This narrative literature review evaluated the effects of movement-based mind-body interventions (MMBIs; yoga, tai chi, and qigong) on low back pain. A search of databases was conducted to identify relevant studies. Thirty-two articles met inclusion criteria and were included for this narrative review. Of the reviewed studies, the highest number focused on yoga intervention (n = 25), 4 focused on qigong, and 3 focused on tai chi in managing back pain. The selected articles showed MMBI to be effective for treatment of low back pain, reporting positive outcomes such as reduction in pain or psychological distress (eg, depression and anxiety), and improved functional ability. However, little is known about the effects of MMBI, in particular qigong and tai chi. More clinical trials are needed to determine how to reduce back pain, improve physical function, and minimize behavioral and psychological symptoms associated with low back pain. Nurse practitioners may introduce such mind-body interventions for managing pain, especially for patients at high risk for adverse effects from pharmacological treatment, and refer them to a yoga therapist, tai-chi instructor, or qigong instructor.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chronic Pain / therapy
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Tai Ji*
  • Yoga*