A randomised, controlled clinical trial (the ATLAS trial), funded by Arthritis Research UK, has shown that Alexander Technique lessons can result in long-term benefit for people with chronic neck pain.
The trial showed the following long-term benefits for people who attended Alexander lessons:
- They experienced nearly a third less pain and associated disability (a 31% reduction) at the end of the trial, 1 year later.
- This reduction was significantly greater than that experienced by the group who received usual GP-led care alone, and was large enough to be considered clinically relevant.
- The extent to which people were able to manage their pain (‘self-efficacy’) increased more in the Alexander group than in the usual care alone group, and this increase in self-efficacy was associated with a greater reduction in pain and associated disability at 1 year.
- Following Alexander lessons, improvement was also seen in people’s mental health at 1 year, as revealed by a self-report quality-of-life questionnaire.
- No safety issues related to Alexander lessons were identified.
Note that similar benefits were experienced in a group who were given acupuncture. For more information on this trial, please visit STAT’s website.