Back, neck and shoulder pain
“97% of people with back pain could benefit by learning the Alexander Technique – it is only a very small minority of back pain sufferers that require medical intervention such as surgery.” - Jack Stern, spinal neurosurgeon
Significant long-term benefit from Alexander Technique lessons for low back pain has been demonstrated by a major study published by the British Medical Journal on 20th August 2008.
This study has not surprised me at all as back pain was the main reason I came to the technique. I tried many other therapies but the pain kept coming back. I found the Alexander Technique to be more powerful as it was less like something being done to me and more about taking conscious control, a really unique way to help myself.
It can be a revelation that we can have a huge influence on our body’s workings just by changing our postural habits and being more bodily aware as we go about our daily lives.
Some common things we tend to do in simple activities is over activate our legs putting undue strain on the back, we may also be tensing our necks. We could be bending from the wrong place and end up sitting slumped in effect on our back rather than being supported over our sitting bones. Some of us may try and sit bolt upright but find we end up pulling in our backs and cannot maintain this for long without pain. The problem is that we may not really know what we are doing to ourselves and this is where the Technique can really help.
In lessons I will teach you how to be more supported from your feet which will have the effect of releasing tension in the legs, right up through the joints, the back , shoulders and the neck. In effect freeing the whole system to work more efficiently without excessive tension.
These are just a few comments from my clients:
“The chronic pain diminished dramatically and I learned to sit effortlessly, without having to hold myself upright on the piano stool”
“I no longer have to take painkillers for lower back pain”
“Not only has my back pain gone but I feel much more confident and I don’t get so stressed out at work”
Back pain is the biggest cause of sickness absence in the UK and lower back pain affects 7 in 10 people at some time in their lives.
A study published online by the British Medical Journal, referring to a trial with over 500 patients, offers some hope.
Professor Paul Little of Southampton’s faculty of medicine and his colleagues recruited 579 patients from 64 GP practices. They were either given normal care, massage, 6 lessons, or 24 lessons of Alexander technique (AT). Half the patients in each group were also given an exercise programme involving walking.
Little said “This is a good, large, trial. It is good enough evidence for people to take it seriously.” Of the approaches tested, lessons in the Alexander Technique provided the most benefit. The research reveals that following 24 AT lessons, the average number of activities limited by low back pain had fallen by 42%, and the number of days in pain had decreased from 21 to 3 days per month one year after the trial started. Also a series of 6 lessons followed by GP-prescribed general exercise was about 70% as beneficial as 24 AT lessons alone.Click here to read the study on the BMJ website
To find out more why not book a one to one introductory session?