Relief from Chronic Back Pain

Do you experience chronic back pain? Well … you are not alone! Back problems are among the most common chronic conditions in Canada. Four out of five adults will experience at least one episode of back pain at some time in their lives. It can be highly disabling, it may cause significant work loss, and it reduces quality of life!


Body use and back pain

Back pain has many causes: Muscle strain from heavy lifting, repetitive movement, stress, sport injuries, arthritis, and degeneration of discs to name a few. One of the most important contributing factors is poor use of the body. – How do you use your body during the day? Do you pay attention to how you move when you cut your vegetables, brush your teeth or walk your dog? Do you find yourself slumped in front of the TV? Do you stick your chin forward when you sit at the computer?


Our body use is directly related to how well our body functions and how well we feel

If our posture is poor, our muscles are strained and our movements are stiff, our body may start to scream and respond with pain. Without being aware of it we may cause or aggravate our back pain. Ongoing postural habits are often the causing or contributing factor for many back problems.


How can Alexander Technique help with back pain?

Back pain tends to be felt in one local area, either lower back, mid back or upper back. However, the misuse contributing to the pain is not just a local problem. The whole body and mind is involved. If you have lower back pain, for instance, you may have stiff hips, and you may unconsciously pull your legs into your pelvis. You may also tighten your neck and slouch forward with your shoulders. Your whole stature may be shortened, most likely the head is pulled back. In an Alexander Technique session, you learn how your mind and body interact developing a better understanding of your postural imbalances and how to change them.


What happens in an Alexander Technique session or workshop?

You practice to stop harmful ways of moving and direct yourself in a way that allows more lengthening and widening in the body. This process involves your mind and your body. You learn to let go of long held tension and change your habitual posture and movements. Learning how to recover a balance of the head on the spine and a dynamic relationship between head and the body is essential for recovering ease and effortless movements. As your whole body gets into more balance, your back pain is alleviated. People who come for back pain are often delighted to find out that the Alexander Technique also affects other aspects of their life as it might help them being calmer, improving parenting, being more focused or having more clarity with decisions. Many Alexander students experience less stress and more energy during the day!


Note: There are many causes for back pain including bulging disks, infections or injuries. Please be advised to see your GP, if you are in doubt or if your pain is sudden or acute. Teachers of the Alexander Technique are not trained in medical diagnosis and procedures.