Back Pain Treatment: Biofeedback

There are many body functions that we have that operate properly whether we think about them or not. Some of these body functions include regulation of body temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure. Though most of these body functions operate normally whether we think about them or not, they can be affected by our daily activities, mood, and even by how we feel. For example, when we become scared or excited, our respiratory rate increases and becomes more shallow, our blood pressure increases, and our heart rate may also increase. A process known as biofeedback involves us using various techniques to alter certain body processes in order to feel better, emotionally and physically.



Biofeedback can help you control many body processes that previously were considered to be out of conscious control. Biofeedback can help you to control your body's response to stress, which can directly impact body processes. Biofeedback involves the use of electronic instruments connected to the body to measure body functions. While connected to these instruments, you may use certain relaxation techniques designed to lower stress levels, and the biofeedback machine will transmit information to you in real time, letting you know if it's working. This interactive process between your techniques designed to reduce stress or change certain body processes and the biofeedback information sent to you, may enable you to make refine and make chances to your biofeedback exercises to promote healing in your body and better psychological health. With practice, you may learn to control any body process that can be transmitted back and forth from the biofeedback machine.

In a biofeedback session, sensors are attached to the parts of the body being monitored - such as over tight muscles to measure muscular tension, heart rate monitors, as well as sensors to measure pulse and respiratory rate. These sensors are connected to a computer or apparatus capable of recording the results and changes in body processes and transmitting the information in real time back to the person. The instruments may report and record information about processes such as skin temperature, EMG (muscular tension), EKG (heart rate), and EEG (brain activity). If the prospect of being hooked up to all these sensors and machines sounds scary or painful to you, know that it's not. The sensors that will connect to you, as well as the biofeedback machine receiving and outputting the results are small, and the sensors easily come on and off.

The treatment sessions, at least initially, will include you, the equipment involved, and a practitioner who places the sensors and teaches to the various techniques used to alter your body processes. The practitioner will teach you some relaxing techniques, and the instruments will feed back the effects these techniques are having in the form of audio sounds you can hear, light, or other signals. Eventually, you will know which techniques work best for you in terms of successfully altering body processes. Once you have learned which techniques work best for you, you will be able to do them at home without the equipment.

Some of the sensor modalities used in biofeedback include Hemoencephalography, Photoplethysmograph, and Electrodermograph.