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anyone used the Alexander technique for back pain?

(8 Posts)
curlyLJ Tue 25-Sep-12 22:07:39

and if so, did it work, how long did it take, and did it last long-term?

I have had back/neck pain on and off for around 8 years or more and since having my DD it has got progressively worse. Been seeing a chiro for a few months, which at first gave amazing results, but now I can feel it's not working as well as it did. He recommend I try the AT to compliment the chiro as he and I know my back pain is down to poor posture, weak core muscles and the fact that I sit at a desk all day when I am at work or am forever having to lift my DD when I am at home.

Anyhoo, had my first trial lesson yesterday and it all really seems to make sense and I 'get' what she is saying, but I don't want this to be another thing that i spend £££s on for the pain only to creep back later on...

Am also going to try Pilates to strengthen my core - presumably these will all work nicely together??

I would so love a decent, uninterrupted night's sleep but have woken up with the pain/being uncomfortable for as long as I can remember (having bought countless different mattresses and pillows too)

Any experiences?

Belo Wed 26-Sep-12 10:13:31

Back pain is horrible. I get it on and off. My GP referred me to a physio a few years back. They were able to work out that my back pain was caused by my glute muscles and my hips being very tight (caused by sitting too much at work). Every time I feel like my back is feeling 'weak' I do the stretches that I was told to do. Also, my week core muscles added to the problem. So, I try and do Pilates. I find it rather boring, but it is my 'medicine'.

I have no experience of AT, but my Gran used to do it and swore by it. I've always been put of by the £££s.

I hope you find a solution to your pain.

Katisha Wed 26-Sep-12 10:21:50

Yeah have done it a fair bit over the years and it can really help. You have to commit to lying on the floor for 10 mins every day to get full effect! But you are never really "done" as eventually bad postural habits creep back in. So yes, you would probably find it hard to know when to stop, although when I was doing it regularly I got it down to once a month

curlyLJ Wed 26-Sep-12 10:24:48

thanks belo - sounds similar to me.
Did you get a Pilates DVD or did you go to a class to learn it properly? I have heard that you can do more harm than good if you don't know what you're doing...

My chiro also told me my pelvis was slightly out of alignment - probably since giving birth - and that was causing everything to get pulled out of place <ouch> but he has pretty much sorted that now.

Anyone else used the Alexander techinique??

Belo Wed 26-Sep-12 10:31:55

I started off by going to a class. I'm a member of a gym and I normally go during my lunch breaks. I've learnt a lot about it from the gym, so now I'm happy to do it from a DVD. I've got the Darcy Bussell one. I actually won it in a mumsnet comp about 6 years ago! (Thank you mumsnet!) I would say it's quite good, but pilates is so subtle that I would say you do need to do it in a class for a while first so that you can get put into the right positions as just slight alterations in your position make such a difference.

pantaloons Wed 26-Sep-12 10:34:33

I have a really crap back that is apparently only going to get worse.

I haven't tried AT, but I do pilates. You really need to go to a physio led class to make sure you are doing the right things for your back. I go to a very gentle beginners group once a week at a local physio and then spend 15 minutes each morning doing a few exercises as well. I started off by having 3 one to one lessons to make sure I got the techniques right and he taught me the exercises to do at home, then I joined the group.

I have also been told by my consultant not to have my spine manipulated until my core muscles are stronger as there is no strength there to hold everything back in the right place. Perhaps this is why your Chiro is feeling less effective?

curlyLJ Wed 26-Sep-12 12:55:42

thanks all.

Yes I already know about the 10-15 mins lying down each day Katisha - but this is actually quite nice and forces me to take the time to chill in peace and quiet for a while smile

pantaloons that makes sense about the core not being able to 'hold' everything where it should be. I hadn't thought of that!

AlexanderTeacher Wed 26-Sep-12 14:06:56

The Alexander Technique has very good chances of helping chronic, non-specific back pain. It's a learning process: whatever you learn, you'll be able to take into practice for the rest of your life.

A well-conducted trial in Britain, was comparing Alexander Technique to normal GP treatment and to massage.

They were finding out that 24 Alexander lessons, combined with lying-down at home, reduced the average days in pain significantly and the results were long-term. Patients kept improving after the they stopped their couse of lessons. http://www.bmj.com/content/337/bmj.a884

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