Back Pain

On September 19, 2012 the University of Bristol announced its findings in a pilot study of the Alexander Technique for chronic pain sufferers, most of whom had back pain. Over half of the study participants reduced their pain medication after only six Alexander lessons.

spineA March 2011 story about the Alexander Technique on NPR’s Morning Edition highlighted the Technique’s benefits for musicians as well as for those with back pain. While the Technique is an educational method rather than a therapy, we have evidence that the changes brought about through AT lessons (even as few as five or six) can mitigate back pain.

As teacher Jo Gray put it in the NPR story, “The whole point is that you understand the process so that you can arrive there yourself.” Her perspective encapsulates the educational essence of the Technique.

For the complete text of the 2008 study of the Alexander Technique on back pain, please visit the British Medical Journal’s website, or check out the BMJ’s video about the Technique. The New York Times published a brief interview with Paul Little, lead author of the BMJ study, that gives a quick summary of the findings.