The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Alexander technique for low back pain

    Lessons in the Alexander technique from registered teachers have long-term benefits, according to researchers from the UK.

    First, the details.

    • 579 patients with chronic or recurrent low back pain were randomly assigned to one of the following groups.
      • Normal care
      • 6 sessions of massage
      • 6 Alexander technique lessons
      • 24 Alexander technique lessons
    • Half of those in each group were randomly given a prescription for exercise consisting of brisk walking for 30 minutes every day, 5 days a week.
    • The Roland Morris disability score (number of activities impaired by pain) and number of days in pain were used to assess response.

    And, the results.

    • Exercise and lessons in the Alexander technique remained effective at one year based on the Roland disability scores.
    • Exercise after 6 lessons achieved 72% of the effect of 24 lessons alone.
    • Number of days with back pain in the past 4 weeks was lower in the massage and both Alexander technique groups, and quality of life improved significantly.
    • No significant adverse reactions were reported.

    The bottom line?
    The authors concluded, “One to one lessons in the Alexander technique from registered teachers have long term benefits for patients with chronic back pain.”

    Based on this study, 6 lessons followed by exercise were nearly as effective as 24 lessons.

    TimesOnLine reports, “One 45-minute session costs £30 to £40, and about 6 are needed to get lasting benefits.”

    8/22/08 20:45 JR

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