Alexander Technique for herniated discs is a specialized application of this holistic treatment option. Alexander Technique is a therapy which teaches patients proper Kinaesthesia. In essence, patients are taught the correct way to move, stand, sit and every other common activity that a person would typically perform during life. Special emphasis is placed on posture and breathing, since these are considered vital parts of a healthy body to Alexander practitioners.
This essay will provide a look at using Alexander Technique to treat pain caused by herniated and degenerated intervertebral discs.
Alexander therapy actually has fairly good treatment results with herniated disc patients. This is due to one simple fact: Most herniated discs do not cause any pain or related symptoms. Most degenerated discs also do not cause any pain or symptoms.
Patients who enjoy significant relief using Alexander methods are typically suffering from some other source process, such as oxygen deprivation back pain, which ties in perfectly to the treatment philosophy embraced by Alexander practitioners.
The patients might demonstrate the physical signs of a herniated disc or degenerative disc disease, but these conditions are not the reason for their pain. They are merely coincidental and innocent scapegoats on which symptoms are blamed by the medical establishment.
Alexander Technique teaches that most pain conditions are a result of internal bodily tension. This feeling of tension is a common feeling shared by the majority of back pain patients, regardless of their particular diagnosis.
Ischemia is one of the major causes of unresolved dorsalgia and this oxygen deprivation process is known for creating tight, tense and uncomfortable muscles. Alexander therapy teaches patients how to rid their body of this tension and therefore works very well for this common, but often mistakenly identified form of chronic disc pain.
Alexander therapy might also work well when the actual source of pain resides in the soft tissue anatomy, such as in cases of muscle imbalances and a variety of idiopathic concerns.
A combined program of knowledge therapy and Alexander Technique may amount to an ideal treatment for patients who are likely to be suffering from a psychosomatic back pain process which is using ischemia as the actual source of physical symptoms.
Alexander therapy will help the individual to lose the physical tension, while knowledge therapy will work to resolve the emotional sources of pain. Alexander therapy on its own might be less effective, since the underlying emotional causes remain unchecked and will not go away from any purely physical or medical treatment alone.
Alexander is likely to be far less successful when the diagnosis of a disc defect, as the true cause of pain, is correct. This is because the treatment will do nothing to resolve any neurological compression or chemical irritation which occurs due to the pathological disc.
I have sometimes been very critical of this particular treatment option in the past, but now realize that it is quite enlightened in many aspects of its beliefs. The one thing which would increase its efficiency in my eyes would be the recognition that this internal tension so often referred to in practice is a direct result of an emotional process, not a purely physical, structural or postural one. While some Alexander practitioners do welcome this idea, others simply refute the mindbody link, akin to their brethren in the medical back pain industry.
I recommend Alexander technique as a means of overcoming the physical ramifications of oxygen deprivation once the psychological issues have been sorted out. The technique will work even better if you are lucky enough to find a therapist who understands the common link between internal bodily tension and the subconscious repressive process behind the epidemic of psychosomatic back pain.
Alexander is one of the best methods of dealing with true postural causes of back or neck pain and is truly ideally suited for patients with these particular causative concerns.