WITHDRAWN - Effects of kundalini yoga, strength training and advice on back pain: A randomized controlled trial.

Talk Code: 
Elisabeth Björk Brämberg
Gunnar Bergström, Irene Jensen, Jan Hagberg, and Lydia Kwak
Author institutions: 
Unit of Intervention and Implementation Research (IIR), Institute of Environmental Medicine (IMM), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, Centre for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Stockholm County Council, Stockholm, Sweden.


Kundalini yoga and strength training are used as interventions for back and neck pain, although little is known about their effect on sickness absenteeism and sickness presenteeism. Therefore, this study aimed at evaluate the effects of an early intervention (i.e. < 8 weeks of sick-listing) of kundalini yoga compared to strength training or evidence-based advice on sickness absenteeism, sickness presenteeism, back and neck pain, and disability among a working population.


A randomized controlled trial was conducted on 159 participants with predominantly (90%) chronic back and neck pain. After screening the participants were randomized to kundalini yoga, strength training or evidence-based advice. Primary outcomes were sickness absenteeism and sickness presenteeism. Secondary outcomes were back and neck pain, and disability. Self-reported questionnaires and SMS text messages were completed at baseline, 6 weeks, 6 and 12 months.


The results show no significant effects of kundalini yoga and strength training, compared to evidence-based advice on the primary outcomes. An interaction effect was found between adherence to exercise recommendations and sickness absenteeism, indicating larger significant effects among the adherers to kundalini yoga versus evidence-based advice: RR = 0.47 (CI 0.30; 0.74, p = 0.001), strength training versus evidence-based advice: RR = 0.60 (CI 0.38; 0.96, p = 0.032). Some significant differences were found on the secondary outcomes.


Guided exercise in the forms of kundalini yoga or strength training decreases sickness absenteeism, pain and disability for those adhering to exercise at least two times/week. Methods to increase adherence to treatment recommendations should be further developed, and applied, in exercise interventions.

Submitted by: 
Elisabeth Björk Brämberg
Funding acknowledgement: 
This study was funded by FORTE (2008-0849), the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working life and Welfare http://forte.se/.