Randomised controlled trial of Alexander technique lessons, exercise, and massage (ATEAM) for chronic and recurrent back pain: economic evaluation

BMJ 2008;337:a2656. doi: 10.1136/bmj.a2656

Hollinghurst S, Sharp D, Ballard K, Barnett J, Beattie A, Evans M, Lewith G, Middleton K, Oxford F, Webley F, Little P


This analysis of the ATEAM trial demonstrated cost-effectiveness of Alexander lessons for people with chronic back pain, concluding that 6 Alexander lessons followed by exercise prescription was the most cost-effective option of those examined. Unfortunately, no cost-effectiveness analysis of 24 Alexander lessons compared with usual care control was reported, despite the greater clinical effectiveness of 24 lessons versus 6 lessons. In this analysis, only the 6 lesson arm was compared with the usual care control, and the cost-effectiveness of 24 lessons was instead compared with that of 6 lessons. The analysis also experienced a relatively high degree of missing economic data. Nonetheless, it provides the first evidence of cost-effectiveness of Alexander lessons.


Read the paper here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3272680/


At about the age of 45, I began to experience severe pain in both of my knees. I was told I had damaged the cartilage, initially caused by the use of a kicking strap on a sailing dinghy, and made worse by many years of beagling, and to stop beagling or risk ending up in a wheelchair. A few years later a friend suggested the Alexander Technique. At first I was very sceptical, but had also reached the stage where I was ready to try virtually any means to solve the problem. A few weeks after my first lesson, I had gone out beagling, but only walking.

Chris Walsh

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