The Alexander Technique can help with back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders; it was the reason why I initially took lessons as I had major back pain through compression of the spine and muscle damage. Though I had strength before the accident, my strength is more integrated and more coordinated throughout the organism. When we have an accident we tighten around that area to protect it, often when we heal, the tightening that was there to protect the area does not let go, as it becomes normal to the brain. It is often when an Alexander Technique Teacher brings our awareness to tight area we realise the tension that is there. Not only do the muscles tighten but that causes a reduction of blood flow to the area as the blood vessels are squeezed tight and the blood does not take away the build up of toxins. When we release the tension the whole area can open up again and the blood flows freely and takes away the built up toxins.
About 80% of adults experience low back pain at some stage of their lives. It is the most common cause of job related disability and a leading contribution to sick leave, according to Pain Relief Ireland. Children and teenagers also suffer from back pain. We don’t need to have a fall to have back pain, we can have back pain because of poor posture and how we move, if we are slumped over a computer all day, we bring that posture home, we bring it into walking and everything we do. We spent many years at school sitting in a chair then possibly went onto further education sitting even more, our whole organism gets used to sitting in a chair, not only sitting, but sitting primarily in a similar pattern. People who are inactive during the week and go out and exercise a lot during the weekend are more likely to have painful back injuries compared to people who do moderate physical activity on a daily basis.
Weight doesn’t cause back pain it is the loading that ends up causing pain and injury, for example, an average adult human head weighs about 5kg when the heads is nicely balanced on the neck the back is free of additional tension, when the head is in a forward and down posture it increases the force stressing on the spine by an additional 5kg for every 25mm, which over time can lead to degeneration and wearing of discs and joints in the spine and muscles end up imbalanced some short and others long. This head posture is very common with people on mobile phones.
A research into Alexander Technique and back pain was carried out in the UK and published in the British Medical Journal. They were one to one lessons in the Alexander technique from qualified teachers providing 24 lessons to people with chronic back pain, and its results were long term benefits for the pupils with chronic back pain.