Acupuncture and the Alexander Technique which helps to improve posture are both more successful at reducing chronic neck pain than standard treatment, a new study has found.
They both achieved a clinically significant greater reduction in pain than standard care, which may include painkillers and exercise, when they were tested on a group of more than 500 patients who had been suffering from general neck pain for at least three months.
Both therapies had achieved a 30 per cent reduction in pain and disability, whereas standard care had resulted in a 23 per cent reduction, after a year.
The participants had either 12 acupuncture sessions or 20 Alexander lessons, or usual care, over the 12 months.
The Alexander Technique is a method of changing the way people carry out everyday activities, with a focus on reducing tension through better co-ordination, balance, posture and spatial awareness.
The results are part of the ATLAS research project, which is based at York University in the UK.
(Source: Annals of Internal Medicine, 2015; 163: 653-662)