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  • 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022
  • Project No: 535
  • Funding round: FR1

Pain from back, neck, hip or knee, and often at several sites, are the commonest causes of chronic pain, but treatment options are limited. Improving self-management of chronic illness is a national priority.

Lessons in Alexander Technique (AT) aim to improve posture and whole body use to help sufferers better manage and prevent pain. Studies indicate that for back pain AT is probably effective and cost-effective, and it may possibly also help neck, hip and knee pain. However 1:1 lessons are costly and do not help people maximise learning opportunities from each other. We have developed a course of mixed individual and group lessons for AT for back pain which was mostly acceptable to patients and teachers, with very encouraging initial results: the outcome patients most care about, functional disability (the number of activities that could not be done because of pain), was reduce by half. We wish to develop a similar course work for a course for hip, knee and neck pain. This will help us make a much stronger case to argue for research funding to support the full development of these interventions to tackle chronic pain.

Developing the course for chronic neck/hip/knee pain.

We will a) set up a PPI panel as a key stakeholder group for consultation throughout the project b) develop draft teacher training and patient materials using the material developed for back pain as a starting point c) interview patients in advance of the course to understand and barriers participation and to discuss outcome measures

Initial feasibility study.

Having developed the initial materials we will aim to run at least 3 groups of participants with pain in neck, hip or knee pain to receive AT lessons (6 group lessons;4 individual lessons) in groups of 4-6 people.

Follow-up will be for 3 months in each group to assess pain and quality of life (QOL)and people interviewed to see how acceptable they found the study.

PPI. 3 collaborators (involved already) and the wider PPI panel will contribute to the development, study management, and interpretation.

Amount awarded: £8,436

Projects by themes

We have grouped projects under the five SPCR themes in this document

Evidence synthesis working group

The collaboration will be conducting 18 high impact systematic reviews, under four workstreams.