At the 2018 American Academy of Pain Medicine Annual Meeting, Felix Laevsky, MS, from Shirley Ryan AbilityLab discussed how biofeedback is used in pain management treatment.
Role of Biofeedback
- Develop skills to evoke relaxation response and control stress response.
- Develop skills to manage pain and pain related symptoms at any time in any real life situation.
- Develop skills to control symptoms while learning and implementing techniques taught by other disciplines.
- Become aware of one’s own abilities and capabilities of controlling psychological functions.
Biofeedback teaches patients how to control their relaxation response. By doing this, patients can decrease their metabolism, heart rate, rate of breathing and blood pressure. All this reduces their sensation of pain.
Relaxation response techniques include:
- Focused breathing techniques.
- Passive muscle relaxation techniques.
- Guided imagery techniques.
- Autogenic techniques.
Relaxation therapy is a systemic approach to teaching people to gain awareness of their psychological response and achieve both a cognitive and physiological sense of tranquility.
Biofeedback is relaxation therapy with the use of monitoring devices so that the patient can see how their body is responding to the techniques. The biofeedback monitors the skin temperature, respiratory rate, and uses surface EMGs to measure muscle tension.