Is EMG Biofeedback a useful tool in treating chronic headaches? Presently, current research shows that EMG can effectively treat pain based diagnoses. For people battling chronic headaches, including migraines this might be the answer they are looking for. Presently, EMG Biofeedback is showing plenty of promise in the treatment of chronic headaches. Here we will look at some of the research and techniques that may help those living with chronic headaches.
Alternative Treatments Helping with Headaches
In a report published by the American Migraine Foundation, they outline that, “biofeedback, progressive muscle relaxation, and abdominal breathing are just several of the behavioral medicine techniques proven to reduce headaches and improve the quality of functioning.”
So, by helping patients understand their stress reactions it helps with tension and reduces a headache and migraine symptoms. Ultimately, researchers showed that patients who become aware of their stress response can reduce tension and prevent, reduce and stop headaches.
They also noted that these techniques work best when clients are trained to properly use the skills by a professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist who are trained to use EMG biofeedback.
Early Use of Biofeedback to Treat Headaches
The use of Biofeedback to treat chronic headaches dates all the way back to the late 1970s. Dr. Elmer Green and his wife Elyse Green were studying the effects of temperature change therapy to treat a range of diagnoses. Surprisingly, they observed that individuals who successfully control their hand temperature could quickly and effectively recover from a migraine headache. As a result, they turned to the Menninger Foundation to collaboratively study this effect.
By and large, their findings were profound. Seventy-four migraine patients participated in the study. Of that 74, “56 benefited from hand temperature training with amelioration ranging from moderate to very good.”
Recent Scientific Support of EMG Biofeedback Treating Headaches
In more recent studies EMG biofeedback is suggested for treating chronic headaches. There are many electrode placements for treating headaches. This is in large part because the source of tension varies from person to person. Presently, a number of studies have shown efficacy for using wide or narrow placement on the frontalis muscles of the face.
In wide placement, the electrodes are placed on the forehead (frontalis muscles) above each of the irises. Whereas, the narrow placement would have electrodes halfway between the eye and the hairline, next to one another. Additional placement locations that may prove effective include the shoulders and neck.
Keep in mind, you should always consult with your doctor before starting any treatment protocol. They can help you create a safe plan to treat your chronic pain.