Posture and Pain
The Alexander Technique helps alleviate chronic and recurring pain caused by posture, stress and tension and this has been confirmed by numerous medical research trials.
What first appears to be lazy or stiff posture may in fact a problem of muscular coordination, a lack of teamwork in the body. Some muscles are overworking whilst others are under working. This can lead to poor body mechanics and pain.
This may show itself in postural problems such as scoliosis, kyphosis or lordosis.
The Alexander Technique (AT) has a track record of helping those with back problems – please see the ATEAM research trial in the ‘Back and Neck Pain ‘section of this website.
AT works by rebalancing the postural support muscles. It is a conservative/ non invasive way of helping those with scoliosis – be it children, adolescents or adults – and can be used alongside standard medical treatment or as a stand alone method.
Scoliosis is categorised as mild, moderate or severe according to the degree of curvature and is measured by the ‘Cob Angle’.
Below are four short videos on the journey of improvement of a severe scoliosis sufferer ( 80 degree curvature). These videos are shown by kind permission of Dr Galen Cranz, Professor of Architecture at University of California, Berkeley, USA.
Before and after images of a scoliosis sufferer’s spine:
BEFORE – Spinal XRay
BEFORE – Tracing of Spinal XRay
AFTER – Dots showing ‘after’ and improved spinal curvature are superimposed on tracing of spinal XRay
1. Lady in her 50s
“In my teens, I was diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis, just one of the unlucky 3% of people. I remember sitting in front of the consultant in a daze being told that I would need to have Harrington Rod surgery and my hips wired to pull them into line. I declined the surgery and was told that it was just a matter of time that my internal organs would be crushed and I would be in a wheelchair.
I met a family in the waiting room whose daughter was around 12 years old and was having Alexander Technique lessons and in her latest X-ray her spinal curve had reduced as she was still growing. This chance meeting changed my life. Alexander lessons for me have been most helpful and crucial for mental and physical health. I can’t recommend it enough.
Alexander lessons have helped change longstanding habits of stiffening muscles/ slouching and instead allowing me to build up muscles for postural support, sitting with my weight evenly distributed and reducing my musculoskeletal pain. When I leave lessons I am literally taller and always starving afterwards due to the act of lengthening within my body.”
2. Lady scoliosis sufferer / STAT website
“Alexander Technique came into my life around the same time as I was diagnosed with scoliosis. However through Alexander Technique I am able to manage my back pain and use my body more efficiently. At the end of a lesson I feel grounded but floating on air. I cannot thank my Alexander Technique teachers enough for the wisdom and health they have given me .”
3. Lady scoliosis sufferer/ STAT website
“I started the Alexander Technique due to a slight scoliosis and stretched nerve in my left lower back. In short, the Technique has made a huge difference to my life. I would recommend it to everyone and strongly believe it should be on the NHS.”
It can also be a factor in Hypermobillity conditions such as Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS).
To read a article written by Dr Bull on how the Alexander Technique can help EDS please click here.