Can EMG Biofeedback treat Reynaud’s disease? Chronic Reynaud’s Disease is a condition characterized by areas of the body feeling cold and numb under certain circumstances. Although doctors are in the dark about the cause of the disorder, there are a number of treatments that help alleviate the symptoms. People with Reynaud’s report feeling numbness and pain in their hands and feet when exposed to cold air or water. Interestingly, they may even experience these symptoms as a result of extreme stress.
What is Reynaud’s Disease?
Raynaud’s disease is more prevalent in women than men and most commonly begins between the ages of 15 and 30. People living with Raynaud’s experience the arteries in their fingers and toes vasospasm when exposed to cold or stress. As a result, the vessels narrow and blood supply is temporarily limited. Chronic Reynaud’s can lead to small arteries thickening, which further limits blood flow.
The most common triggers for a Reynaud’s outbreak is exposure to cold temperatures, such as putting hands in cold water, taking something from a freezer or encountering cold air. For some with the disease, emotional stress can lead to an episode.
How is Reynaud’s Disease Treated?
In mild cases of Reynaud’s, treatment first addresses avoidance of an outbreak. Patients are reminded to dress warm and wear gloves or heavy socks. Medications are used to treat more-severe forms of the condition. Currently, some of the medications used to treat Raynaud’s include:
- Calcium channel blockers
- Alpha blockers
So what happens when traditional medical interventions don’t work? For many living with chronic Reynaud’s Disease, this is the time to turn to less-traditional approaches. This has led many scientists to ask the question can EMG Biofeedback treat Reynaud’s Disease?
How Does EMG Biofeedback Treat Reynaud’s Disease?
In 2001 a groundbreaking study investigated whether EMG Biofeedback could be an effective treatment for Reynaud’s disease. Researchers compared temperature biofeedback training and a behavioral control procedure (frontalis EMG biofeedback) with nifedipine-XL and a medication placebo for treatment of primary Reynaud’s phenomenon. They used a sample of 313 participants from a variety of sites.
Their findings were incredibly promising. They showed a significant improvement in the hand warming abilities in the group of people who used EMG Biofeedback practices.
This study and many that came after showed that using EMG Biofeedback allowed Reynaud’s sufferers to exert control over an episode. Thus, they learned to use the power of biofeedback to understand when their body was creating a response to cold or stress. Thus proving that EMG Biofeedback can treat Reynaud’s Disease. Consequently, by exerting control over their mind they learned to control body temperature (biofeedback), which can help decrease the severity and frequency of attacks.
Various studies show that EMG Biofeedback can be highly effective in treating Reynaud’s disease. Fortunately, this gives hope to a large group of people who have struggled to find effective treatment for the disorder. Ultimately, EMG Biofeedback offers hope to the many people living with chronic Reynaud’s Disease. If you are living with Reynaud’s Disease, talk with your doctor about this viable treatment option.