The use of biofeedback and relaxation techniques for headache has been evaluated extensively by expert panels and meta-analyses. When the techniques are combined the reviews indicate that: (1) various forms of biofeedback are effective for migraine and tension-type headache; (2) outcomes with biofeedback rival outcomes with medication therapy; (3) combining biofeedback with medication can enhance outcomes; and (4) despite efficacy in many patients, biofeedback fails to bring significant relief to all headache patients.
Tension headaches are the most common type of headaches, stemming from physical and emotional stress. You can also get tension headaches from inadequate rest, intense work or other factors. Women get tension headaches more often than men, and typically headaches begin in the teen years and hit their peak in the 30’s. Tension headaches can last minutes to days and tend to get worse the longer they last. Different things can cause tension headaches, including, bad posture, skipping meals, and overexertion. Meditation, relaxation training, EMG biofeedback, and cognitive behavioral therapy have all been shown to help prevent recurring tension headaches.
Research supports that cortical hyper arousal of fast wave activity is found in many people with migraines and research supports neruofeedback as an effective treatment for the symptoms of a migraine. A migraine is a headache with throbbing pain that is usually on one side of the head, and may last for hours or days. The pain is severe and can interfere with daily activities and affect your quality of life. The exact cause is still unknown, but flashing lights, anxiety and stress, lack of sleep or food, hormonal changes, and certain foods are known causes with some people.
Women are three times more likely to have migraines and there is greater likelihood if you have other neurological disorders. Biofeedback and relaxation training can give you relief that is similar to that from medications. We have found neurofeedback to be an effective treatment modality as well.