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Archived Comments for: Modifying patterns of movement in people with low back pain -does it help? A systematic review

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  1. Correction regarding the nature of Alexander Technique lessons and their effectiveness for low back pain

    Erica Donnison, Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT)

    13 February 2015

    Under Background, Laird et al incorrectly include the Alexander Technique in a list of interventions which they claim result in no consistent differences in LBP outcomes. They also describe the Alexander Technique as a 'highly individualised exercise program'. The Alexander Technique is in fact a taught principle-based psychophysical technique for self improvement and self care. It does not involve exercises as generally understood. To support their claims the authors cite an out-of-date review article and an RCT in people with LBP which, in contrast to their statement, actually demonstrated a highly significant long-term reduction in pain and disability following Alexander lessons (Little et al, BMJ 2008). The effectiveness of Alexander lessons in health-related conditions was the subject of a recent systematic review that concluded 'Strong evidence exists for the effectiveness of Alexander Technique lessons for chronic back pain' (Woodman and Moore Int J Clin Pract 2012; 66: 98¿112).

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    STAT is the largest professional body of teachers of the Alexander Technique in the UK. We are commenting on the misunderstanding of what the Alexander Technique is and the misinterpretation of the results of the ATEAM trial (Little et al, BMJ 2008). Our comment is a point of information and correction of statements made in the Background to the paper rather than on the validity or importance of the paper itself.