Alexander Technique lessons- potential benefits for osteoarthritis pain reduction

Results from a small study of 21 people with knee osteoarthritis indicated that 20 lessons in the Alexander Technique led to a reduction in pain and disability. Following the lessons, knee pain on average decreased by 56% with benefits being maintained at the 15 month follow up assessment. An interesting discovery was that pain and stiffness was reduced to such an extent that 10 of the 15 people taking painkillers at the start of the study were able to stop or reduce their medication.

Pain reduction was associated with a reduction in excessive muscle activation rather than due to muscle strengthening. It would be interesting to compare the impact of Alexander Technique lessons with physiotherapy in people with knee osteoarthritis. Further larger controlled trials are needed to explore this.

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