Does the Alexander Technique Relieve Chronic Back Pain? The Research Says ‘YES’

 

When you are looking for ways to resolve back pain there are so many options it can be hard to know which to choose.  This blog looks at one important consideration, i.e. the research evidence.

 

Is the Alexander Technique Effective for Chronic Back Pain?

The largest research study so far was published in the British Medical Journal in 2008.  It compared Alexander Technique lessons, massage and exercise prescriptions for people with ‘chronic and recurrent back pain’.

 

The results

Alexander Technique lessons provided the most benefit.

  • People who had no interventions (know as the ‘control group’) reported having 21 days in pain in the previous four weeks
  • One year after the start of the study, the people who had just 6 Alexander Technique lessons plus exercise prescription reported 11 days in pain in the previous four weeks (10 days less than the group who had no intervention)
  • One year after the start of the study, the people who had 24 Alexander Technique lessons reported only 3 days in pain in the previous four weeks (18 days less than the group who had no intervention)
  • None of the participants who had Alexander Technique lessons reported any adverse effects
  • Massage helped in the short term, but the effect did not last as long as Alexander Technique lessons

 

This is recognised as a good quality study because:

  • The number of people studied was large (579)
  • Participants were randomly assigned to three different types of care (Alexander Technique lessons, massage and exercise)
  • The study was independently funded (by the Medical Research Council), i.e. the people funding the study had nothing to gain from the results

 

Conclusion

‘One to one lessons in the Alexander Technique from registered teachers

have long term benefits for patients with chronic back pain’.

 

The title of the study is ‘Randomised controlled trial of Alexander technique lessons, exercise, and massage (ATEAM) for chronic and recurrent back pain.’  Here is a link to the full article where you can find more details https://www.bmj.com/content/337/bmj.a884

Something a little more light-hearted

If all this talk about research and results feels too serious and you would prefer a simple explanation about how the Alexander Technique helps people with back pain, take a look at this YouTube clip where Teacher, Peter Nobes provides a nice light-hearted explanation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sapkkKGjUs4

If this post has sparked your curiosity and you are interested in finding out how the Alexander Technique can help you please email me at attbridgetbarr@gmail.com or call me on 07957 981240 get in touch using the contact icons

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