'Alexander Technique' Can Ease Your Back Pain

According to statistics, approximately half of population in UK suffers from back pain.

The recent research in Britain has shown that a 100-year-old relaxation method known as 'Alexander Technique' is very helpful in curing chronic back pain.

Under this technique, patients learn proper ways of sitting, standing and walking. It has been named after its founder, Australian actor Frederick Matthias Alexander.

Researchers from Bristol and Southampton universities studied data collected from 579 patients with chronic or recurrent back pain. These patients were divided in groups. Each group was given a different type of treatment including painkillers, physiotherapy, massage, six 'Alexander Technique' lessons, or 24 AT lessons. Half of the patients were asked to walk for 30 minutes daily (five times a week).

The study showed that after one year, patients who were treated with combination of exercise and lessons of combined with lessons in the 'Alexander Technique' showed marked improvement in their back pain. However patients given massage therapy improved slightly. 'Alexander Technique' lessons reduced the frequency of occurrence of back pain. Patients following full 24-lesson course of the method had only four days of back pains while patients getting normal care had 21 days of back pain. However who had six lessons had 11 days of pain and those having massage had 14.

Lead researcher Professor Debbie Sharp said that the present study is a significant step forward in the long-term management of low back pain. The results of this study clearly reveal that the 'Alexander Technique' can beat back pain. She was hopeful that this technique can help most people with back pain.

She added that lessons in the Alexander technique offer an individualized approach to develop skills that help people recognize, understand, and avoid poor habits affecting postural tone and neuromuscular coordination.

She said: "It can potentially reduce back pain by limiting muscle spasm, strengthening postural muscles, improving coordination and flexibility, and decompressing the spine."

Dries Hettinga,researcher manager for Back Care, a charity which offers support and advice to people with back pain, said that results obtained from use of Alexander technique are encouraging. He added that this technique may not be effective for everyone because there are various reasons behind back pain.

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