Alexander Technique for Back Pain and Neck Pain

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I know from my own experience how debilitating back and neck pain can be. But I also know it’s possible to find pain relief and easier movement through the Alexander Technique.

It’s not treatment or therapy for your pain, nor is it yoga or Pilates. Instead you learn new ways of moving and thinking. You begin to:

  • notice and modify your response to pain

  • limit muscle spasms and tension

  • allow your spine to align more naturally

  • improve posture and co-ordination

  • have more control over your pain  

In lessons you look at daily activities and how you do them. You learn to carry them out in ways that reduce or avoid pain. Over time you develop a more positive relationship with your back and neck. They start to support you in your daily life rather than always stopping you in your tracks.

Two major clinical trials have shown how effective the Alexander Technique can be for people with long-term back or neck pain.

Help for chronic lower back pain

In 2008 the ATEAM trial involved people with chronic lower back pain. Compared with massage, gentle aerobic exercise and normal GP care, the most significant results were for people who had 24 Alexander lessons. After one year they had: 

  • 86% reduction in number of days in pain

  • significantly improved quality of life  

Relief from long-term neck pain

Then in 2015 the ATLAS research involved people who had suffered from chronic neck pain for an average of 6 years.  The results showed long-term benefits for people who had 20 Alexander lessons alongside their usual GP care: 

  • 31% less pain and associated disability after one year

  • more than for usual GP-led care alone

  • greater sense of control over their neck pain