Many people begin Alexander Technique lessons to relieve chronic neck, back or joint pain caused by injuries, arthritis or patterns of muscular misuse and imbalance. Learning proper movement patterns and relieving excess muscular tension corrects imbalances, improves range of motion, and decreases pain by reducing pressure on nerves, discs, and joints.
Clinical studies support the effectiveness of the Alexander Technique in relieving chronic pain and improving functional abilities. In 2008, the British Medical Journal published the results of a multi-center clinical trail involving nearly 600 participants with chronic non-specific low back pain. The participants who received Alexander Technique lessons reported 85% fewer days with pain, and the number of activities limited by pain was reduced by 42%.
In an earlier study of patients with chronic pain, the Alexander Technique was found to be the preferred method of obtaining pain relief compared to other modalities. In this study, the subjects rated the Alexander Technique as the most helpful method for relieving chronic pain not only during the study, but continued to rate it as the most helpful method after three months and even after one year.
For more information on research studies and the Alexander Technique,
Students Talk About Pain Relief
The Alexander Technique taught by Jo Ann has proven to be an effective supplement to the injection and physical therapy program prescribed by my pain specialist, who was also pleased with results of this combined treatment.
I have had back/hip problems for many years and suffered with pain frequently. I have been seeing a chiropractor for years but because my muscles were so tight my back kept slipping out of alignment. Since working with Jo Ann and using the Alexander Technique and Tai Chi, my muscles are stronger and more supple. My back and hips don't slip out of alignment as they did before and it so much easier to get adjusted than it was before. My chiropractor has noticed the change and attributes it to the Alexander Technique, telling me to keep doing it as it has made a huge difference.
All day long my job requires that I be plugged into technology, whether it is using a laptop or a blackberry. Jo Ann taught me how to use the Alexander Technique to avoid chronic pain through effective use in my hands, neck, shoulders and back. I couldn't get through my workday without it.
As an "information worker" I spend at least six hours a day in front of a computer and keyboard, and was experiencing numbness in my hands and arms, and pain in my upper back. Jo Ann taught me that years of bad habits - the way I sit, hold my head, use my arms - were causing some of this pain. Within a few weeks of starting lessons, I noticed an improvement, and within six months I was virtually pain free. Now in a new job, I commute an hour one way three days a week, and practicing the Alexander Technique helps to de-stress my body, and to recognize and alleviate bad posture habits that might lead to pain.