Improvement in automatic postural coordination following Alexander Technique lessons in a person with low back pain

Neurological Sciences Institute, Oregon Health and Sciences University, Portland, OR, USA.
Physical Therapy (Impact Factor: 2.53). 07/2005; 85(6):565-78.
Source: PubMed


The relationship between abnormal postural coordination and back pain is unclear. The Alexander Technique (AT) aims to improve postural coordination by using conscious processes to alter automatic postural coordination and ongoing muscular activity, and it has been reported to reduce low back pain. This case report describes the use of the AT with a client with low back pain and the observed changes in automatic postural responses and back pain.
The client was a 49-year-old woman with a 25-year history of left-sided, idiopathic, lumbrosacral back pain. Automatic postural coordination was measured using a force plate during horizontal platform translations and one-legged standing.
The client was tested monthly for 4 months before AT lessons and for 3 months after lessons. Before lessons, she consistently had laterally asymmetric automatic postural responses to translations. After AT lessons, the magnitude and asymmetry of her responses and balance improved and her low back pain decreased.
Further research is warranted to study whether AT lessons improve low back pain-associated abnormalities in automatic postural coordination and whether improving automatic postural coordination helps to reduce low back pain.

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Available from: Fay Horak, Oct 28, 2014
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    • "It is unclear though whether individuals develop altered static and dynamic loading patterns prior to or subsequent to the first bout of pain (Jones et al., 2012). Subjects with lower back pain are also reported to have deficits in standing and seated balance and automatic postural coordination (Cacciatore et al., 2005). In riders the incidence of lower back pain was reported to be higher than the incidence found in the general population (Kraft et al., 2007; 2009), but it is unclear whether risks are discipline specific (Quinn and Bird, 1996; Kraft et al., 2009). "
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