Randomised controlled trial of Alexander technique lessons, exercise, and massage (ATEAM) for chronic and recurrent back pain

Paul Little, George Lewith, Fran Webley, Maggie Evans, Angela Beattie, Karen Middleton, Jane Barnett, Kathleen Ballard, Frances Oxford, Peter Smith, Lucy Yardley, Sandra Hollinghurst and Debbie Sharp

A randomised controlled trial involving 579 patients with lower back pain of more than 3 weeks duration. The study compared Alexander technique over 6 sessions, Alexander technique over 24 sessions, massage, advice to exercise with behavioral intervention and a control. The exercise therapy was also added to each leg of the trial. The main outcome measure used was the Roland Morris Disability Index.

The results showed that all inteventions reduced back pain at 3 months. 6  sessions of alexander technique combined with exercise were shown to be nearly as effective as 24 sessions at one year. Massage showed mainly short term benefits.

  BMJ, 2008 Aug 19;337

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