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10.08.2014
People who suffer from chronic pain often cannot get adequate relief from conventional medicines alone; thus, many sufferers turn towards alternative or complimentary treatments to help them manage their pain. Studies that have used biofeedback machines to treat chronic pain have shown very promising results. This extremely common work-related extremity disorder can produce sustained pain in the hands and wrists of sufferers. Chronic low back pain can stem from work-related stress or injury, such as sitting in a bad posture for prolonged periods of time, or using inappropriate lifting techniques to move heavy objects. Pain felt in the lower back, even when the back isn’t in use, is often due to unwarranted muscle tension in this area. Through EMG biofeedback training, a person can learn how to relax their back muscles on command. Without treating the problems that cause low back pain, a person may eventually experience tissue damage or even permanent spinal damage. Pain is one of the most difficult symptoms to cope with for people suffering from fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS).
To lessen the symptoms of pain related to this disease, a biofeedback therapist will often employ a variety of techniques to monitor the physiological responses in their patients while they’re experiencing pain.
Using a multi-channel EMG, a therapist can record a patient’s muscle tension at different sites on their body. Chronic pain syndrome is a general classification for pain that lasts longer than 3-6 months.
For many patients, pain is brought upon by a physical ailment, such as an injury or some type of chronic disease. Biofeedback treatment is a training method where patients learn to control certain physiological functions through mental effort. The process typically involves sensors, from a biofeedback machine, that are placed on a patient’s body to pick up subtle physiological signals.
As a patient’s thoughts are focused on a desired mental or physical state, the biofeedback device can show real physiological changes taking place within their body. After a technique is mastered, there’s no need for further training with a biofeedback machine, as the patient will be able to  reproduce the desired state on their own. Another benefit of using a biofeedback device is that it can boost a patient’s self-efficacy. A stressful event in the environment can often create or heighten pain in individuals who suffer from pain-related disorders. Unfortunately, for some people, this response can become habitually over-activated (through classical conditioning), leading to various bodily dysfunctions that produce or heighten the sensation of pain.
Biofeedback can make a person aware of how stressors become triggers for certain ailments that cause pain. Through work done in therapy, a patient can learn how to relax their nervous system and skeletal muscles on command to prevent the onset of pain, or at least limit its severity when it manifests. Concerning the mental and physical aspects of pain, research has uncovered an interesting interplay between these modalities.
It’s been found that feedback loops exist between one’s physiological and psychological systems. For instance, facial muscles have nerves that connect directly to the autonomic nervous system.
Those who want to learn how to achieve a deep state of relaxation to better deal with their pain can now get biofeedback devices created for home-use. At Cadabam’s Hospitals, biofeedback therapy involves the assessment of bodily activities such as heart rate, blood pressure, temperature and other vital information to understand and know more about the patient’s psychological behavior. It helps increase awareness to bodily processes through the use of sophisticated instruments and monitoring procedures to identify and correlate voluntary and involuntary physiological responses. A patient undergoing biofeedback therapy will be able to better understand the dynamics of his behavior during a stressful or mood-altering situation.
To build relapse prevention of illnesses such as bi-polar affective disorder, addiction, etc., please do avail of this treatment at our hospital. Biofeedback is a great tool when our therapists are trying to retrain patterns of muscle recruitment.


Biofeedback is also good when a muscle is almost ready to be weaned off of E-stim, but still needs a little help. Biofeedback is a technology-based Mind-Body Therapy in which visual images or sounds provide feedback about your body’s physiological responses.
With several decades of research already in the books, it’s clear that biofeedback can play an important role in providing therapy for chronic pain.
In many cases, the sensation of pain can be greatly diminished through guided mental activities and deep muscle relaxation. With the help of a biofeedback machine, patients can learn to relax the muscles associated with this disorder. The goal of biofeedback training is to re-condition the muscles so that they stay relaxed when not in use. It is important to release muscle tension in the back before more serious disorders manifest. Sufferers of FMS often report widespread musculoskeletal pain with multiple tender points on their bodies. Feeding this information back to the patient, the treatment subject can learn how to relax certain muscles to decrease the severity and frequency of their pain.
This type of pain is not fully treatable with conventional medicines and poses a great challenge for patients who seek relief.
But because such ailments may not be fully treatable or curable, some patients must learn to cope with frequent or constant pain throughout their lives. Although pain can often be decreased through proper biofeedback training, it is best used as part of an adjunctive treatment regime that includes other forms of conventional and complimentary treatments, like cognitive behavioral therapy and pharmacology.
These signals are then processed into a stream of real time information that’s fed back to the patient. This quickly trains the patient on how to use their mind to achieve a certain goal, like the reduction of pain through deep muscle relaxation. Through biofeedback training, a patient can readily observe just how much control they can have over their autonomic physiological functions.
When such an event is experienced, it can trigger a strong emotional reaction, which furthermore activates the sympathetic nervous system – the fight or flight response that shifts the body into high gear. These can lead to a heightened experience of pain, or in the case of successful biofeedback training, a decreased sensation of pain when these systems are in use.
By changing one’s facial expression, a person can actually influence their nervous system. Because a relaxed nervous system is consistent with a decreased sensation of pain, biofeedback training is sometimes used to teach patients how to deeply relax their facial muscles.
Biofeedback corrects this behavior and gets closer to the core issues that create the sensation of pain, rather than just masking its symptoms. It plugs into any modern computer, PC or Mac, through a USB connector and is supported by high quality software titles. The correlation between these factors has been studied, and devices developed to help get historic data on an individual’s response to these combined factors.
On ascertaining the reasons for the specific behavior, treatment is then strategically applied (i.e. For example, after a shoulder injury or surgery, many of us compensate by using our upper trapeziums when elevating the arm. In that case, biofeedback allows the patient to do most of the work and then it kicks in a little E-stim at the end of the contraction for improved firing. Biofeedback can relieve the physical and psychological symptoms of anxiety, muscle tension, and stress. This means contemplating the psychological and social aspects of pain, in addition to its obvious physical manifestations. This can lead to a substantial decrease in the severity of pain, making the condition less discomforting when the hands are in use. This addresses the core problem of lower back pain for many people, and is a better longterm solution than just masking the pain with drugs.
These symptoms seemingly stem from no obvious cause, which is one reason why they’re so difficult to treat.


Eventually, they can learn to do this on their own, without the need for a biofeedback machine or therapist. Biofeedback training often works best when it’s combined with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
This follows the biopsychosocial model of pain, and is the approach most backed by medical research. Biofeedback helps by giving us instant feedback when the wrong muscle is activated at the wrong time.
With help from a biofeedback therapist, you can learn to change your heart rate or blood pressure, for example. Using computer software and a sensor, such as a finger clip that measures your heart rate, you will work to develop greater self-regulation over your body’s responses. Additionally, longterm recovery is more likely to take place when over-active muscle tension has been dealt with appropriately. At first you use the monitor to see your progress, but eventually you will be able to achieve success without the monitor or electrodes. This is a powerful tool to teach yourself to decrease your stress response and activate your relaxation response. You will learn to modify your heart rate variability, increase body temperature, and control other physiological responses.
For those who respond to stress with a parasympathetic response, the explanation must be couched in these terms, again, with the aim of training being the balancing of the two systems.
Biofeedback is an effective and non-invasive technique to manage symptoms and to feel more in control of your own physiology.Heart Rhythm Variability (HRV) and Coherence Training is a form of biofeedback that uses measurements of beat-to-beat changes in heart rate with the goal of teaching you how to reduce stress and increase emotional stability.
They may also learn to respond automatically to stress by contracting, for example, in the area of the neck and shoulders. Just as we can change habitual typing errors, or learn to swim more efficiently, so can we eliminate maladaptive psychophsyiological patterns and learn more adaptive patterns.
Clinical biofeedback also involves learning relaxation techniques, using the instruments to the practitioner and client toward processes that are most effective for the client.
The client is responsible for between-session practice of relaxation or other homework techniques and for maintaining awareness of symptom patterns as the relate to life-style factors. The temperature and weight readings from these devices give “feedback” about your body to tell you whether you have a fever or have gained weight.
In a similar way, biofeedback therapists use specialized equipment to train patients how to improve their health by using signals from their own bodies.
The therapist attaches sensors or electrodes to the body and these sensors provide a variety of readings–feedback–which is displayed on the equipment for the patient to see.
With this information, patients can learn to make changes so subtle that at first they cannot be consciously perceived. People with urinary or fecal incontinence or other pelvic floor disorders can achieve improved bladder control. What happens during a biofeedback session? In a normal biofeedback session, electrodes are attached to your skin.
They send information to a small monitoring box that translates the measurements into a tone that varies in pitch, a visual meter that varies in brightness, or a computer screen that shows lines moving across a grid.
For example, it shows promise for treating urinary incontinence, which is a problems for more than 15 million Americans. Based on findings in clinical studies, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research has recommended biofeedback therapy as a treatment for urinary incontinence.
Treatment of headache, incontinence, and Raynaud's disease requires at least 10 weekly sessions and some follow-up sessions as health improves. Conditions like high blood pressure, however, usually require 20 weekly biofeedback sessions before you see improvement.



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