News

Study published by British Medical Journal

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 at www.bmj.com.

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-prescibed general exercise was about 70% as beneficial as 24 AT lessons alone.

Click here to read the study on the BMJ website
Click here to read more research from alexander technique.com




Health: Alexander technique ‘does ease back pain’

Chronic back pain, which causes probably more disability and days off work than any other health condition, can be eased through teaching better posture via the Alexander technique, doctors say.

Back pain is notoriously difficult to treat and many people suffer from it for years. It is the biggest cause of sickness absence in the UK and some people are unable to work at all. Lower back pain affects seven in 10 people at some time in their lives.

A study published online today by the British Medical Journal, referring to a trial with 500 patients, offers some hope.

Click here to read the article on The Guardian website



Does the Alexander Technique really cure back pain?

Chronic back pain can be soul-destroying, but a new study may offer hope. What are we to make of this week’s news that the complementary therapy Alexander Technique is an effective treatment for long-term back pain, better than painkillers, physiotherapy, massage or exercise alone? The findings came in an authoritative study in the British Medical Journal.

Click here to read the article on The Times website (Subscription required)


Alexander posture technique ‘most effective at reducing back pain’

An alternative therapy used to improve posture is more effective at treating back problems than conventional treatments, research has found.

The first major scientific trial of the Alexander technique discovered that after a year’s treatment, it could dramatically reduce symptoms. Massage, by contrast, offered little benefit after three months.

The technique teaches people to move and hold their bodies correctly by using frequently forgotten muscles to aid balance, and avoiding poor posture.

Click here to read the article on The Telegraph website


An old cure for a modern malaise: Alexander Technique can beat chronic back pain

A method of relaxation developed more than 100 years ago can help ease chronic back pain, researchers say.

The Alexander Technique, formulated by an Australian actor after he lost his voice, has been proved to be effective in clinical trials.

The discovery could help British firms save vast sums of money. Each year back pain accounts for up to five million lost working days, and costs the economy an estimated £5billion.

A study of almost 600 patients suffering chronic or recurrent back pain found significant improvements after a year among those having lessons in the Alexander Technique.

They spent just three days in pain each month, compared with 21 days for those getting normal NHS care.

Click here to read the article on The Mail Online website


How my jog has become less of a slog

Tarquin Cooper says the Alexander Technique makes running far easier

‘Make no mistake, this is the worst part. It’s excruciatingly painful,” warns Malcolm Balk, my running coach for the day. I fear he’s about to make me sprint up hills, but it’s worse than that. I am about to have my running technique picked apart. Balk presses the play button on the video and I wince as I watch myself – an aspiring serious runner – in action.

Enthusiasts often say that running is the simplest and most natural form of cardiovascular exercise. No lessons are required — all you need is a pair of trainers. Yet look at runners pounding the streets and you could easily draw the opposite conclusion.

Click here to read the article on The Telegraph website


 

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Bad posture is a pain in the neck

After hours of writing, I can set the clock by the pain at the top of my shoulders and around my neck. It goes if I avoid my desk but returns the minute I sit down again in front of the computer.

Barring some kind of psychosomatic allergy to working, clearly my posture is to blame.

I am five foot 10 and a half, short-sighted and prone, through over-concentration, to not giving a moment’s thought to my posture. This is what back expert Noel Kingsley, who has just written an acclaimed book, Free Yourself from Back Pain – A Guide to the Alexander Technique, would term “present in the mind, but absent in the body”.

Click here to read the article on The Evening Standard website


Two wheels

If God wanted us to ride bicycles, babies would be born with crash helmets on their craniums and flashing red lights on their buttocks. Although, on the whole, we cyclists are fitter than non-cyclists, we must be careful of the impact of the bicycle frame on the human frame. Beset with back pains, I was advised to drop the drop handlebars years ago, on the grounds that the bent-over posture they imposed did my spine no favours. Being a commuting, not a racing cyclist, I could live with the extra wind resistance. That helped, but occasional twinges persisted.

A recent study published by the British Medical Journal showed that the Alexander Technique can ease back pain. It was time to consult Barry Collins, who gets around by bike and has been teaching AT for the past 25 years. “Severe spinal injury at zero mph,” warns a poster at his practice, illustrated by a drawing of an unhealthily slumped skeleton slouched in front of a computer; similar maltreatment of vertebrae can be seen in cyclists.

Click here to read the article on The Guardian website


Alexander posture technique ‘most effective at reducing back pain’

An alternative therapy used to improve posture is more effective at treating back problems than conventional treatments, research has found.

The first major scientific trial of the Alexander technique discovered that after a year’s treatment, it could dramatically reduce symptoms. Massage, by contrast, offered little benefit after three months.

The technique teaches people to move and hold their bodies correctly by using frequently forgotten muscles to aid balance, and avoiding poor posture.
Problems stem from overusing some muscles and neglecting others in various parts of the body, not just the stomach or back.

Click here to read the article on The Telegraph website


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In the swim to ease neck and back pain

My arms are flat in front of me as I try and remember the drill.

“Anchor” is where the right elbow comes up and the hand flops down. Then it’s “drive”, where the right hand pushes back past my body and sweeps up so it’s pointing straight above my head, while the left hand lunges forward with the thumb pointing upwards.

Finally it’s “return”, where the left hand flattens and the right hand comes to meet it, aiming somewhere between wrist and elbow, before both hands return to the start position.

It’s hard to remember all that in the right order but after a length or so I’m getting the feel of it and with another two it’s becoming second nature.

Click here to read the article on The Express website


Your very first release

The Alexander technique can help release tension in the body, allowing the voice to become fuller and freer. Paul Moore offers tips for beginners.

Everyone has a loud and full voice, but tension and musculature change in the body affects the voice. Most of us often hold ourselves in unnecessary and tense positions – heads pulled back, lower back arched, pelvis pushed forward, shoulders drawn back, forward or raised, arms pulled inwards. We also experience a lot of internal tension in the chest muscles, throat, tongue and jaw, often as a result of nervousness, anger or other intense emotions.

The Alexander technique focuses on removing tension by releasing those muscles (rather than “doing” something). This helps the diaphragm, and the ribs, to move more easily and improves the balance of your head and throat. As a result, your voice becomes fuller and freer, and you may find it more powerful, with less effort and easier breathing, as well as being less prone to injury.

Click here to read the article on The Guardian website