Believe In Biofeedback: It Works
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that sets off widespread musculoskeletal pain and tenderness that has lasted for at least a period of 3 months. More than twelve million people have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and each of them are forced to live with widespread musculoskeletal pain which often goes hand in hand with extreme moments of fatigue, memory difficulties and fluctuating mood swings and behaviors.
The pain and symptoms of fibromyalgia is most commonly felt in the soft tissue, muscle, tendons and joints. Soft tissue is located in several spots on the body such as: the elbow, neck, back, knees, shins, hips and shoulders. The pain is often felt the most at night and the individual suffering from the pain often struggles to find time to sleep and once he or she finally falls asleep the night is often interrupted from the pain and the fibromyalgia patient wakes up stiff, uncomfortable and just plain miserable the next day. The painful spots on the body are referred to as tender spots and are felt in the various locations we have already mentioned. The pain will start in a location such as the knee and then spread out to include the whole leg.
The pain or feelings that correspond with fibromyalgia have been described as a:
~Numbness And Tingling in the hands and feet
For the most part, fibromyalgia patients can take a preventative type medication that will help reduce the amount of symptoms experienced. However, there are not any prescription medications that are specifically designed to help with fibromyalgia symptoms.
Because many studies have been done on prescription medication and fibromyalgia, doctors are able to use prescription medications as an off-label treatment. The prescription medications are used to bring pain under control, improve sleep, increase energy and help improve the mood of fibromyalgia sufferers, however medications can cause side effects whereas the following is a safe treatment.
What Is Biofeedback?
The stressors of fibromyalgia pain can be eased using biofeedback. Biofeedback is a mind and body relaxation technique that helps fibromyalgia sufferers learn about their body’s natural internal process to control relaxation.
Biofeedback uses an electronic device to measure stress-related responses in the body. After much research biofeedback is able to help relieve many types of chronic pain, including fibromyalgia.
The electronic device is connected so that it can inform the fibromyalgia patient and the therapist when the patient is physically relaxing his or her body. Sensors are able to report muscle tension, heart rate, breathing patter, the amount sweat produced and body temperature. Some therapists are able to use a single one of these sensors, although it may be helpful to use all, to see if a fibromyalgia patient is learning to relax.
The design of biofeedback is to first teach the body how to react to stressors in a controlled environment. Once the fibromyalgia patient is able to react properly inside of a controlled environment, then he or she should be able to start reacting properly in daily life. There are many different types of biofeedback devices: Elecromyograph, Peripheral Skin Temperature, and Elecroderm Response will be discussed below.
EMG (Electromyograph) – The most common biofeedback therapy is the EMG. Because the EMG is used to help correct muscle pain and stiffness it can be the most useful for fibromyalgia patients. The device that is used is called an electromyograph which is able to measure the electricity given off by the patient’s muscles.
PST (Peripheral Skin Temperature) – A less common form of biofeedback is the PST. The PST is able to measure electrical impulses given off by the flow of a patient’s blood. By doing so, it is able to give information about skin temperature.
EDR (Elecroderm Response) – An EDR is considered sweating biofeedback. It is able to monitor electricity produced by a patient’s sweating reflexes. This form is usually used to help with anxiety and depression. While some therapists just use one devise and type of biofeedback devices, it is most common for them to use a combination of biofeedback devices.