Acupuncture and Alexander Technique prove effective in long-term treatment of chronic neck pain


In a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine, both acupuncture and the Alexander Technique have been shown to lead to significant reductions in neck pain and associated disability, compared with traditional care alone.  

Researchers in the randomised, controlled trial sought to determine the clinical effectiveness of acupuncture or Alexander Technique lessons compared with usual care for persons with chronic, nonspecific neck pain. Patients were randomly assigned to 12 acupuncture sessions or 20 one-to-one Alexander Technique lessons plus usual care, or usual care only. Neck pain was assessed by the Northwick Park Questionnaire (NPQ) at 3, 6, and 12 months.

The researchers found that acupuncture and the Alexander Technique lessons both led to a significant reduction in neck pain at 12 months compared with usual care alone. Both interventions had a high rate of acceptability, and greater adherence was associated with better pain outcomes. Over time, both interventions resulted in a greater increase in self-efficacy than did usual care, and these improvements were associated with better NPQ outcomes.