Yoga and Qigong for Elderly Patients With Chronic Low Back Pain


The objective of this study is to evaluate whether yoga or qigong therapy is effective in treating low back pain in elderly patients compared to no therapy (waiting list control). The secondary aim is to compare yoga and qigong.

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Treatment
    • Masking: None (Open Label)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: May 2012


  • Behavioral: Yoga
    • 24 group training sessions Yoga, 2 training sessions per week, 45 min duration , over 3 months
  • Behavioral: Qigong
    • 12 group training sessions Qigong, 1 training per week, 90 min duration , over 3 months

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • No Intervention: Waiting Group
  • Active Comparator: Qigong
  • Active Comparator: Yoga

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Functional rating Index (FRI)
    • Time Frame: 3 months

Secondary Measures

  • Functional Rating Index
    • Time Frame: 6 months
  • Visual Analogue Scale
    • Time Frame: 3, 6 months
  • FFb-HR
    • Time Frame: 3, 6 months
  • Pain medication
    • Time Frame: 6 months
  • Falls
    • Time Frame: 6 months
  • Tinetti Test
    • Time Frame: 3, 6 months
  • SF 36
    • Time Frame: 3, 6 months
  • Geriatric Depression Scale
    • Time Frame: 3, 6 months
  • Adverse events
    • Time Frame: 6 months

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Men and women ≥ 65 years of age
  • Chronic low back pain since 6 months at least
  • Functional Rating Index (FRI) ≥ 2 last 7 days
  • Informed consent form signed

Exclusion Criteria

  • Disc prolapse with acute neurological symptoms
  • Previous spinal operations
  • Severe organic or psychiatric disease conditions, not allowing to participate in the trial
  • Use of opioids
  • Drug- and alcohol-addiction
  • Participation in another clinical trial within the last 6 months
  • Participation in yoga or qigong training within the last 12 months
  • Planned physical therapy within study duration

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 65 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Charite University, Berlin, Germany
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Claudia M. Witt, Prof. Dr. med – Charite University, Berlin, Germany

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