Preliminary evidence for feasibility, efficacy, and mechanisms of Alexander technique group classes for chronic neck pain
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Complement Ther Med. 2018 Aug;39:80-86. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2018.05.012. Epub 2018 May 23.
Preliminary evidence for feasibility, efficacy, and mechanisms of Alexander technique group classes for chronic neck pain.
Becker JJ1, Copeland SL2, Botterbusch EL1, Cohen RG3.
To determine feasibility and potential of Alexander technique (AT) group classes for chronic neck pain and to assess changes in self-efficacy, posture, and neck muscle activity as potential mechanisms for pain reduction.
A single-group, multiple-baseline design, with two pre-tests to control for regression toward the mean, a post-test immediately after the intervention, and another post-test five weeks later to examine retention of benefits. Participants were predominately middle-aged; all had experienced neck pain for at least six months.
Participants attended ten one-hour group classes in AT, an embodied mindful approach that may reduce habitual overactivation of muscles, including superficial neck muscles, over five weeks.
(1) self-reports: Northwick Park Questionnaire (to assess neck pain and associated disability) and Pain Self-Efficacy Questionnaire; (2) superficial neck flexor activation and fatigue (assessed by electromyography and power spectral analysis) during the cranio-cervical flexion test; (3) posture during a video game task.
There were no significant changes in outcomes between pre-tests. All participants completed the intervention. After the intervention:
(1) participants reported significantly reduced neck pain;
(2) fatigue of the superficial neck flexors during the cranio-cervical flexion test was substantially lower;
(3) posture was marginally more upright, as compared to the second pre-intervention values.
Changes in pain, self-efficacy, and neck muscle fatigue were retained at the second post-test and tended to be correlated with one another.
Group AT classes may provide a cost-effective approach to reducing neck pain by teaching participants to decrease excessive habitual muscle contraction during everyday activity.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
CCFT; Cranio-cervical flexion test; Electromyography; Neck muscle fatigue; Neck pain; Rehabilitation; Self-efficacy