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August 1980

Biofeedback in the Treatment of Tension Headache: Current Status

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Neuropsychiatric Institute, UCLA.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1980;37(8):866-873. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1980.01780210024002

• Research on biofeedback treatment for tension headache and evidence regarding a muscle contraction etiology of headache are critically reviewed. Electromyographic biofeedback relieves tension headache, but less costly verbal relaxation training yields comparable relief. Individual differences in treatment response that may be related to etiologic heterogeneity are noted. Suggestions are made for current clinical practice and for future research. It appears that if biofeedback is to surpass the effectiveness of verbal relaxation training for treatment tension headache, further developments capitalizing on the specificity of the biofeedback physiological response are required.

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