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Preliminary evidence for feasibility, efficacy, and mechanisms of Alexander technique group classes for chronic neck pain

Identifier

027450

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

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.
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Abstract
OBJECTIVES:
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.

DESIGN:
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.

INTERVENTION:
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.

OUTCOME MEASURES:
(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.

RESULTS:
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.

CONCLUSIONS:
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.
KEYWORDS:
CCFT; Cranio-cervical flexion test; Electromyography; Neck muscle fatigue; Neck pain; Rehabilitation; Self-efficacy
PMID:
30012397

The source of the experience

PubMed

Concepts, symbols and science items

Concepts

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Activities and commonsteps

Commonsteps

Alexander technique

References