Call 020 7467 8461 or email us 
Bookmark this site 
Bookmark and Share
Alexander Technique NHS Referral. Do Alexander technique exercises reduce pain? 
Back Pain, the NHS & NICE guidelines 
Suffering from Low Back Pain? Alexander Technique available via NHS 
 
In the light of the publication of the NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) guidelines on Low Back Pain published in May 2009 there is the unprecedented opportunity for low back pain patients to obtain the benefits of The Alexander Technique via their GP. NICE is an independent organisation responsible for providing national guidance on promoting good health and preventing and treating ill health. 
 
Whilst it is disappointing that the Alexander Technique is included under ‘exercise’ and arguably does not receive due weight this is a significant step for patients . The guidelines do give the flexibility to a knowledgeable GP to actually recommend a one-to-one exercise programme of up to 8 sessions in 12 weeks. 
 
The advice applies to “adults (aged 18 or older) who have had non-specific low back pain, with or without pain in the upper leg (above the knee), for between 6 weeks and 12 months”. 
 
Do contact us if you are either a patient suffering from low back pain or a clinician who would like to work in partnership as part of a health care team in meeting patients needs, nhsenquiries@hiteltd.co.uk 
 
 
 
Please read this booklet fully (12 pages) so that you understand all of the options available to you. 
 
we have drawn out the following key points of relevance to The Alexander Technique below: 
 
Your rights 
Your treatment and care should take into account your personal needs and preferences, and you have the right to be fully informed and to make decisions in partnership with your healthcare team. To help with this, your healthcare team should give you information you can understand and that 
is relevant to your circumstances. 
 
Choice of treatments 
Your doctor should offer you a choice of one of the following treatment options: 
 
• An exercise class that is appropriate for your particular needs. 
• A course of manual therapy, which will include manipulation of the spine. 
• A course of acupuncture. 
 
Exercise class 
If you choose an exercise class, this should involve up to 8 sessions over a period of up to 12 weeks. It will usually be a group class of up to 10 people that is supervised by an appropriately qualified exercise instructor. You might be offered a one-to-one exercise class if a group class is not suitable for you. The classes may include exercises to strengthen your muscles and improve 
your posture, as well as aerobic and stretching exercises. 
 
Do contact us if you are either a patient suffering from low back pain or a clinician who would like to work in partnership as part of a health care team in meeting patients needs, nhsenquiries@hiteltd.co.uk 
 
 
GPs and Back Pain Patients 
 
We hope the following information will assist with the treatment of Low Back Pain Patients 
 
If you are a Low Back Pain Patient, we would advise that you: 
 
• Read the NICE Patient Guidelines attached and see if you meet the criteria- Low Back Pain (CG88) 
• Inform your GP of these guidelines and discuss treatment options. 
• If your GP would like to discuss the implementation of a Low Back Pain Clinic, which includes making The Alexander Technique available, then they are welcome to get in touch with us. 
 
A randomised controlled trial comparing GP care, Alexander Technique lessons, Exercise, and Massage (ATEAM) for chronic and recurrent back pain was published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) on the 19 August 2008, (doi:10.1136/bmj.a884)
 
It concluded that one to one lessons in the Alexander technique from registered teachers have long term benefits for patients with chronic back pain. Six lessons followed by exercise prescription were nearly as effective as 24 lessons. 
 
So please do at least consider taking a course of six Alexander Technique lessons to alleviate your back pain. 
 
If you have any queries please email us at nhsenquiries@hiteltd.co.uk 
 
 
 
Please read this so that you understand all of the options available to you. 
 
The specific advice to clinicians which opens up this opportunity is in the section referring to Physical exercise as follows. We have highlighted the aspects which link to the Alexander Technique: 
 
Physical activity and exercise 
Advise people with low back pain that staying physically active is likely to be beneficial. 
Advise people with low back pain to exercise. 
Consider offering a structured exercise programme tailored to the person: 
This should comprise up to a maximum of eight sessions over a period of up to 12 weeks. 
Offer a group supervised exercise programme, in a group of up to 10 people. 
A one-to-one supervised exercise programme may be offered if a group programme is not suitable for a particular person. 
 
Exercise programmes may include the following elements: 
- aerobic activity 
- movement instruction 
- muscle strengthening 
- postural control 
- stretching 
 
Do contact us if you are either a patient suffering from low back pain or a clinician who would like to work in partnership as part of a health care team in meeting patients needs, nhsenquiries@alexandertechnique-harleystreet