Link to ATEAM economic evaluation in BMJ website
The Alexander Technique offers significant, long-term benefits to the problem of back pain.
Back pain is a national problem. It is one of the most common causes of long-term sickness among workers in the UK.
- Almost half the adult population of the UK (49%) report low back pain lasting for at least 24 hours at some time in the year and the National Health Service spends more than £1 billion per year on back pain related costs (www.backcare.org.uk)
- About 8 in 10 people in the UK suffer one or more bouts of lower back pain during their lives. (www.patient.co.uk)
- According to the NHS, approximately 2.8 million working days were lost in 2013/14 (http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/musculoskeletal/msd.pdf).
Learning the Alexander Technique can help to prevent or alleviate conditions associated with tension, poor body use and bad posture, often the causes of back pain.
A randomised controlled trial for patients with chronic low back pain was published in the British Medical Journal in 2008. It showed that 24 Alexander Technique lessons led to a significant reduction in pain from 21 days to 3 days per month, and an improvement in functioning and quality of life by "limiting muscle spasm, strengthening postural muscles, improving co-ordination and flexibility and decompressing the spine".
A further analysis of this study shows how AT lessons could be a cost effective approach to long-term relief of back pain.
One to one lessons in the Alexander technique from registered teachers have long term benefits for patients with chronic back pain.