Alexander Technique Reduces Back Pain

by Malc on August 20, 2008

The Alexander Technique has very successfully treated recurring back pain in a study of 500 people. The British Medical Journal reports the study.

Researchers in the UK universities of Southampton and Bristol asked doctors to select a total of 500 patients for the study. They had a history of back pain recurring over five years. Half were given the Alexander Technique and half normal back treatment by the doctor. Half of each category were also prescribed an exercise programme of brisk walking.

In a further variation, half the Alexander Technique patients were given just six sessions and half were given 24 lessons.

Excellent Results For Alexander Technique

After 12 months, the results were very clear.

Those receiving conventional care experience 21 days of pain a month, on average. Those who had received 24 lessons in Alexander technique experienced an average of only three days of pain a month.

Those who received six Alexander technique lessons, and who stuck to the exercise program received almost as good results as those who had 24 lessons.

Background Of Alexander Technique

The Alexander Technique was developed by an Australian orator. After long and frustrating trouble with hoarseness, he realized that tension between his back head and neck reduced his ability to speak. He developed a method of muscle relaxation now taught in ‘lessons’. This makes the ‘pupil’ more consciously aware of how they are using these core body areas, and enables more efficient – and less painful – use.

Cost Of Treatment

The cost of treatment is around £30 a lesson. So a total of 6 lessons would cost around £180. This is currently not available on the UK National Health Service. It may well be that the NHS will look into it as they have a history of incorporating alternative methods which have demonstrated cost savings.

Science Daily article
Wikipedia on Alexander Technique
Video of Alexander Technique
STAT – The Society of Teacher of The Alexander Technique (for the UK. Create a username and password to see a list of teachers.)
Alexander Alliance – teachers in USA, Japan, Canada, Germany Italy.

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