What Is a Migraine?A migraine is a headache with throbbing pain that is usually worse on one side of the head. Biofeedback therapy gives consumers the power to use their brain to better understand and control the inner workings of their body. Biofeedback is a process that allows you to control functions that are usually involuntary reactions of the nervous system, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and skin temperature. In addition, biofeedback therapy is non-invasive and can reduce or eliminate the need for traditional medications, all while helping people take control of their health.
To put this into perspective, high stress levels can cause mood swings and anxiety (among other issues), both of which can negatively affect both emotional and physical health. Biofeedback therapy requires device manufacturers to make it accessible to the consumers who will benefit from it most. Device manufacturers who choose to harness biofeedback therapy for use in their wearable or portable product will quickly find themselves at the forefront of personal health and wellness technology for consumers.
New biosensor-driven technologies are enabling wearable devices that capture and analyze complex cardiovascular bio-signals in ways never before possible.
NeuroSky technologies enable the most insightful and easy-to-understand health and wellness biometrics for mobile solutions, wearable devices, and service providers. The Center for Biofeedback and Behavior Therapy is a full-service Pain Management and Counseling center with multiple locations throughout the DFW Metroplex. The Center utilizes the latest in counseling and biofeedback techniques to assist PHYSICIANS and PARENTS with their patients.
The CBBT Headache Clinic has gained popularity over the years for treatment of headache and chronic pain. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of counseling aimed at teaching the client how to become healthier and experience a more satisfying, fulfilling lifestyle by modifying certain thought and behavior patterns. The Electro Physical Agents and Diagnostic Ultrasound (EPADU) group is a Professional Networks of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy based in the UK. When applied to biomedical problems, one adapts the basic definition and adds several components such as to make things more understandable and applicable.
The practice of biofeedback has developed markedly over the last few years, and many different forms of feedback are currently employed in the clinical setting. It is important at the outset to emphasise that biofeedback is not at its most effective when used as a treatment in its own right, but should be integrated with other therapeutic interventions. The principles of EMG biofeedback (EMGBF) are usefully reviewed, as a reasonable understanding of what the machine is doing will assist the therapist in determining the most appropriate machine settings and applications. Machines utilise surface electrodes which detect small voltage changes which arise from the working muscles. The use of surface electrodes results in a broadly sourced signal which will not be specific to a particular motor unit or even a specific muscle.
The surface electrodes used for EMGBF record a broad electrical picture of the electrical activity from the underlying tissues.
The muscle fibres nearest the electrodes will have the greatest influence on the combined signal. Wide electrode spacing will increase the volume of tissue from which the signals are collected, and will therefore increase the number of muscles which will influence the displayed data and conversely, narrower spacing (i.e. Noise which arises due to movement of the electrodes or the electrode leads (often referred to as motion or movement artefact) can make the signal quite dirty, and thus harder for the patient to comprehend. The orientation of the electrodes with the muscle in question is a well argued point, but it is generally agreed that wherever possible, the active electrodes should be placed in parallel with the dominant muscle fibres as this minimises signal cancellation and maximises the sensitivity of the biofeedback system. All biofeedback devices offer an adjustable gain setting which affects the basic sensitivity of the machine. On low gain settings it is possible to make considerable muscle effort before the display is fully activated. Appropriate adjustment of the gain settings is an important feature of effective EMG biofeedback therapy. Most EMG biofeedback devices offer an audible feedback in addition to the visual information. One of the essential features of a biofeedback system is the incorporation of a threshold system to enable patient targets to be set. With a patient who is trying to achieve an increase in muscle activity, the threshold can be set so that the audible feedback only comes on when 50% of the scale has been achieved, and this level can of course be modified with the gain setting. A wide range of Electrotherapy Courses are delivered throughout the UK, Europe and Worldwide with varying content, aims and duration. Current books on Electrotherapy with brief descriptions and links to Amazon pages for purchase. Some common answers to the most frequently asked questions on Electrotherapy, particularly in the area of Contraindications. In general, the biofeedback looks something like this: instruments are used to measure specific physiological activity within our bodies, whether it is brainwaves, breathing, the heart, or another individual function.
It shouldn’t be surprising to find out what type of biofeedback can make the most drastic changes. As mentioned before, at the core of all biofeedback therapies is the proven notion that the body wants to operate as a highly-functioning whole. Neurofeedback is all completely noninvasive, and aimed at providing long-term tools for dealing with neurological issues so patients don’t have to keep coming back. Follow the linked text o learn more about biofeedback and BrainCore’s dynamic neurofeedback therapy. Pilot study with year 1 published, now working with a primary school in MK to look at impact of biofeedback on school readiness and learner engagement.
The pain is often severe enough to hamper daily activities and may last from four hours to three days if untreated. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances.
Thanks to biofeedback, manufacturers have the opportunity to develop life-changing wearable and mobile devices for consumers from all walks of life. This is done by connecting electrical sensors to the user in order to receive feedback from their body.
When they are paired with specific algorithms, they produce, clear, easy-to-understand interpretations of the data being collected during biofeedback therapy. Using biofeedback therapy to measure HRV can aid consumers in understanding which situations trigger these high stress reactions ahead of time and can help them make the lifestyle changes required to live healthier lives.
Fatigue can make it difficult to complete tasks, which can lead to changes in mood and cause more long term, serious problems.
For example, consumers in high pressure jobs could potentially use biofeedback therapy to prepare for their work day and maximize the time they spend on and off the job. For more information on how wearable biosensors can help consumers track and make important changes in their lives, download our FREE whitepaper, Wearable Solutions for Improving Heart Health & Wellness. The company’s proprietary, market-leading biosensor technologies provide a foundation for analyzing biometric data in a way that’s never before been practical. CBT can be helpful in treating a variety of problems, including depression, anxiety and panic disorders, dealing with life event such as: death, divorce, disability, school issues, and mounting stress. As opposed to treatment by drugs, surgery, chiropractic, massage, psychotherapy and other forms of interventions, clinical biofeedback trains the client to control maladaptive body processes. When he came to you he was being home schooled because his migraines were so bad he had become a prisoner in our own home. It acts as an enhancer of the therapy, enabling the patient (and the therapist) to make more effective and rapid progress towards the rehabilitation goal. The signals reaching the electrodes need to be processed before they are of any real value to the patient. The result of these actions is to produce a time varying electrical voltage which can be displayed to the patient by means of a series of lights, varying tones, numbers on the LED display or through a computer link once it has been converted from an analogue to a digital form.

It is not possible with this electrode arrangement to identify with certainty that a particular signal is coming from a specific muscle, but judicious electrode placement will influence the specificity of the displayed data. Distant muscle signals will have an effect on the overall picture, but their influence will be diminished due to dispersion of the signal in the tissues and the reduction in signal strength due to the impedance of the tissues. There are several simple things which should be routinely carried out to minimise motion artefact.
On low gain settings the machine will require a greater signal before the output changes - in other words, it is less sensitive. This is useful at the other end of the rehabilitation scale, with for example, later stage rehabilitation of the quadriceps muscles, where the patient is encouraged to make a maximal effort during a particular movement.
If the device is not sufficiently sensitive, the patient will become frustrated and fail to gain the maximum benefit.
The audible signal can be adjusted so that it will only be heard if the patient achieves a preset activity level. Alternatively, the audible signal can be reversed so that the sound is only heard when the signal is in the lower 50% of the scale - a feature which can be used for patients who are attempting to reduce resting tone.
With the Peak Hold ON, the display does not change instantly, but reports the peak activity in the previous 3 second recording period.
At that time, it was first realized that systems – especially those of humans – tend to regulate themselves in order to maintain stability.
Measurement provides us with feedback (thus the name biofeedback) that allows us to make judgments about how efficiently everything is performing.
After all, our brain serves as the head of our central nervous system and the director for basically every vital bodily function. Correction of the problem usually takes the form of a guided brain exercise, and patients will not have to experience any pain or discomfort to reap invaluable benefits. More than one in 10 Americans, including one in 6 women, have migraines, but many have been told mistakenly that they have a sinus or tension headache. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health.
However, in order for device manufacturers to harness the power of biofeedback therapy, there are a few things they’ll need to understand.
With biofeedback therapy, the user is given access to tools and relaxation techniques needed to make subtle adjustments to, as well as fine tune their body’s functions in order to effectively deal with health conditions. Biofeedback therapy can help consumers identify when their fatigue levels are high, so they can take the proper steps to adjust their daily plans (or longterm lifestyle habits) in order to be more refreshed and ready to face their day. Elderly consumers may also see benefit from biofeedback therapy, though device manufacturers may face difficulty in making in-roads with this traditionally technology-averse demographic. NeuroSky-enabled solutions deliver unique insights into body and mind health and wellness that can motivate people to make better lifestyle choices.
Patients learn to gain control over pain by using self regulation techniques in biofeedback. Regulation of such processes at the automatic level is not really clinical biofeedback, though there is plenty of room for discussion on this point. EMG, pressure, movement, pulse, blood pressure) means that many applications can be developed from the existing equipment.
Furthermore, it is useful in that it helps the patient to reduce their reliance on the therapist and become more reliant on their own performance. Even with close spacing over superficial muscles, it is not possible to be sure that the signals are only derived from a particular muscle.
Firstly, the electrodes should be cleaned after each application, and a good ionic conductive gel applied at each use. On higher gain settings, a small amount of EMG activity will be easily seen by the patient. If on the other hand, the machine is too sensitive, it will be too easy to achieve full scale activation, and no real benefit will be gained.
Machines allow the facility to be turned on or off, and for the volume to be adjusted with ease.
This facility can be useful especially in later stage recovery or rehabilitation, when sustained activity is more important than instantaneous EMG spikes.
Once we know if a specific body process needs some coaching or retraining to get back up to speed, professionals can guide patients through treatment with the goal of correcting health problems without surgery, drugs, or lifelong therapy. Biofeedback dealing with the brain is referred to as neurofeedback, and this therapy has produced some truly astounding results over the last decade or so. It is amazing how little of a kick in the butt it takes to get our brains back to normal, and neurofeedback serves as the best kind of catalyst. If you have been struggling with any of the aforementioned neurological issues, medication, and therapy with only limited success, it may be time to start considering new approaches.
Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site.
In this post, we’ll discuss what biofeedback therapy is, as well as explain the role ECG biosensors play in making it a viable tool.
Rusty also provides unique support for headaches patients, incorporating telephone assistance to his client’s to help control techniques at the moment of their onset.
Clearly this is not fully achieved if the patient becomes reliant on the machine instead of the therapist! Maintaining electrode position with quality adhesive tape or self adhesive electrodes makes a significant difference to this type of noise, and where significant movement of the limb may occur, it is a wise precaution to lightly tape the electrode leads the skin surface as this will reduce drag on the leads and therefore reduce movement between the electrode and the skin surface. By adjusting the gain settings of the machine, it is possible for the display to respond to very different magnitudes of muscle activity. The therapist is encouraged to try the range of settings on themself prior to use with a patient in order to be fully conversant with the options offered by the machine.
In early rehabilitation, or for patients who are struggling to achieve any significant EMG activity, it is preferable to use the instantaneous feedback as it is far less confusing (i.e. Building on that theory, the medical science behind biofeedback as we currently know it has advanced at a remarkably rapid pace. Research has shown that neurofeedback can be especially effective as an intervention for various neurological ailments, including headaches, insomnia, anxiety, autism, and many others.
While it seems like a process as potentially life-changing as neurofeedback would be ridiculously strenuous, it is quite the opposite. Migraine SymptomsThrobbing pain typically occurs on one side near the temples, forehead, and eyes.
From there, we’ll take a look at who device manufacturers may want to consider targeting as users of their wearable or portable biofeedback therapy device. Given an understanding of the basic principles of the therapy in combination with a clinical understanding of the patients problem, there are many novel applications for the therapy.
It can be used effectively to enable the patient to take some control or ownership over their rehabilitation - empowerment is a often used phrase in this context.
Some authorities advocate light abrasion of the skin surface prior to electrode placement, but therapists may not find this to be an essential component of treatment preparation. On high gain settings, small muscle flickers will produce a large response, and this is especially useful for paretic or very weak muscles, for example following a peripheral nerve lesion.
Beginning in the latter half of the 20th century, researchers and scientists embarked on a quest to be able to eventually use the precepts of homeostasis to improve the lives and health of people all across the world.
Migraines can make you very sensitive to light, sound, or mild exertion, such as climbing the stairs. Given the limited scope of this document, the following consideration will focus exclusively on EMG Biofeedback. The key to success of biofeedback in rehabilitation is to use the device as an adjunct to therapy, to enable the patient to gain control without reliance on the therapist, and once gained, to maintain control without either the therapist or the machine.

In the last 20 years we have finally gotten there, and we are all lucky to be alive at a time like this. This approach is entirely in keeping with the general aim of modern physiotherapy, and the technology is an aid to the outcome, not a magical solution.
Migraine With AuraAbout 20% of people who suffer from migraines will have an aura about 20 minutes to an hour before the pain.
They may see flashing lights, wavy lines, or dots, or they may have blurry vision or blind spots. These are called "classic migraines." Migraine Warning SignsSome people may have a change in mood before a migraine begins.
About 1 in 4 people experience this prodrome phase, which can occur as early as 24 hours before any head pain.
What Causes a Migraine?The exact cause of migraines is still not well understood, but the problem is considered to be neurological (related to the nervous system).
Trigger: Flashing LightsMigraines may be set off by some specific cause, such as flickering lights. This could be a reflection from snow or water or from fluorescent bulbs or television or movie screens. Wearing polarizing sunglasses outside and using daylight spectrum fluorescent bulbs inside may help. Some people find that thinking of a peaceful scene or listening to favorite music can help.
Trigger: Lack of Food or SleepIt's important for people prone to migraines to have a regular pattern of meals and sleep.
Drink water throughout the day to avoid dehydration and sleep at least six to eight hours a night.
Trigger: Hormonal ChangesFor many women, migraines are tied to their menstrual cycle, occurring either a few days before or during their period, when estrogen levels drop. Some women may benefit from anti-inflammatory medication before their headaches begin, or hormonal birth control such as pills, patches, or rings. Trigger: Headache FoodsMigraine sufferers often report that certain foods trigger their headaches.
Trigger: TyramineAged, fermented, and stored foods have higher levels of tyramine, a substance created from the breakdown of the amino acid tyrosine. Tyramine may cause blood vessels to constrict then expand, and it may be a trigger for some migraines. Some headache experts advise limiting fermented or aged foods, such as cheese, soy sauce, pickles, and pepperoni.
Caffeine: Help or Hindrance?When combined with some pain medications, caffeine can help provide relief.
Each time you suffer from a migraine, make a note about the warning signs (the "prodrome"), triggers, and severity. If you can discover some of your personal triggers, you may be able to avoid future headaches.
Experts believe migraines may be related to mutations in genes that affect certain areas of the brain. Migraines are also more common among people who have epilepsy, depression, asthma, anxiety, stroke, and some other neurologic and hereditary disorders. Migraines in ChildrenAbout 5% of the children with headache problems suffer from migraines. Children may have symptoms other than headache, including stomach pain (abdominal migraine) or forceful and frequent vomiting (cyclic vomiting).
If young children become wobbly on their feet, pale, and fussy, or have involuntary eye movements or vomiting, they may have a form of migraine called benign paroxysmal vertigo. Diagnosing MigraineMigraines are diagnosed primarily from symptoms, but your doctor may want to do a brain scan to rule out other causes of headaches, such as a brain tumor or bleeding in the brain. Calculating Your Headache BurdenBefore you begin treatment, your doctor may want to assess your "headache burden" -- how much your life is affected by migraines.
A simple questionnaire asks how many times you have missed work, school, or family or leisure activities because of headaches. However, overuse may actually make headaches worse or may lead to ulcers or other gastrointestinal problems. Treatment: TriptansTriptans, the most common medication prescribed for migraines, are most effective when taken early in an attack. Common triptans include Amerge, Axert, Frova, Imitrex, Maxalt, Relpax, Treximet, and Zomig.
People with high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and other conditions may not be able to take triptans. And because of possible serious drug interactions, you should talk to your doctor about other medications you take, such as antidepressants or antiseizure drugs. Treatment: ErgotaminesIf triptans don't give you relief, your doctor may prescribe dihydroergotamine (Migranal) or ergotamines (Cafergot or Migergot) as tablets, nasal sprays, or injections.
These drugs narrow the blood vessels and can cause nausea, dizziness, muscle pain, or a bad taste in the mouth.
They are not usually as effective as triptans and also have some interactions with other drugs.
Is Your Treatment Working?After you have treated two or three headaches, ask yourself some simple questions.
Be sure you take medications early in the attack -- at least within two hours of migraine pain.
You can get rid of the chronic headaches by tapering and discontinuing medication -- under a doctor's supervision.
Pain medicines containing narcotics should be taken only when other medications fail to relieve pain because they can be habit-forming.
Treatment: Preventive MedicationIf migraines are frequent or very severe, you may need to take a drug every day to prevent attacks. Several types of antidepressants can also be used to prevent migraine, as well as anticonvulsants. Biofeedback uses a monitor to train you to recognize the onset of muscle tension and changes in body temperature that are signals of stress.
Alternative Therapy: AcupunctureAcupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine that uses very fine needles inserted in specific spots to balance the body's energy flow. Some researchers have found acupuncture causes the brain to release chemicals that affect pain. An Advantage of AgingMigraines most often strike in the prime of life – between the ages of 20 and 60. While elderly people still get migraines, they often decrease in severity and frequency as we age, or even disappear entirely.
When You Need Quick CareAny new headache that is unusually severe or lasts more than a couple of days should be checked by a doctor.
It's also important to let your health care provider know if the pattern of headaches changes -- for example, if there are new triggers.
If you have a headache accompanied by paralysis, confusion, fever, or stiff neck, seek emergency medical care.

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