Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Alexander Technique Offers Long-term Relief For Back Pain

Date:
August 20, 2008
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Alexander technique lessons in combination with an exercise program offer long-term effective treatment for chronic back pain, according to a new study.

Alexander technique lessons in combination with an exercise programme offer long-term effective treatment for chronic back pain, according to a study published on the British Medical Journal website. Back pain causes more disability than almost any other condition in Western societies, but very few effective long-term treatments are available to patients.

Related Articles


Previous research shows that the Alexander technique* and massage may help relieve back pain in the short-term, but little is known about the long-term outcomes.

A team of researchers from the University of Southampton and the University of Bristol compared the effectiveness of massage, exercise and the Alexander technique for the relief of back pain over one year.

Professor Little and colleagues recruited 579 patients with chronic or recurrent back pain from 64 general practices in the south and west of England. Patients were randomised to receive normal care, massage, six Alexander technique lessons, or 24 Alexander technique lessons. Half of the patients from each of the groups were also prescribed an exercise programme (brisk walking for 30 minutes per day five times a week).

Patients were sent disability questionnaires at three months and one year to record which activities were limited by their back pain. For example, walking more slowly than usual or getting out of the house often.

The authors found that after one year, exercise combined with lessons in the Alexander technique significantly reduced pain and improved functioning whereas massage offered little benefit after three months.

After one year of Alexander technique lessons, patients reported fewer days with back pain over the past four weeks. Patients receiving normal care reported 21 days of back pain, compared to those who received 24 lessons of Alexander technique who experienced 18 fewer days of pain. Those who had six lessons reported 10 fewer days of pain and those having massage said they had seven fewer days of pain.

In addition, patients receiving Alexander technique lessons reported improved quality of life.

Interestingly, six one-to-one lessons in the Alexander technique followed by exercise had nearly as much benefit (72%) as 24 lessons in the Alexander technique alone.

The researchers conclude that: "Massage is helpful in the short term…[but] the Alexander technique retained effectiveness at one year…the results should apply to most patients with chronic or recurrent back pain."

In an accompanying editorial, Professor Maurits van Tulder from VU University in the Netherlands, says that exercise therapy has also been shown to be effective for chronic lower back pain and calls for further research to compare the Alexander technique with different types of exercise.

*The Alexander technique involves a personalised approach to help patients develop lifelong skills for self care to improve postural tone and muscular coordination. It is an educational technique taught to be practiced by patients on their own and is not a form of exercise.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Alexander Technique Offers Long-term Relief For Back Pain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080819213029.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2008, August 20). Alexander Technique Offers Long-term Relief For Back Pain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080819213029.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Alexander Technique Offers Long-term Relief For Back Pain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080819213029.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins