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July 1977

Electromyographic Biofeedback for Pain Related to Muscle Tension: A Study of Tension Headache, Back, and Jaw Pain

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine RJ-30, University of Washington School of Medicine (Dr Kraft) and University Hospital, University of Washington (Dr Peck), Seattle.

Arch Surg. 1977;112(7):889-895. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1977.01370070103017

• We review the literature on the application of electromyographic (EMG) biofeedback to tension-related headaches, back and shoulder pain, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain and present clinical treatment data on 18 patients with tension headaches, eight patients with back and shoulder pain, and six patients with TMJ pain. Electromyographic tension levels declined in all groups of patients; pain declined significantly in 12 of 18 patients with tension headaches and one of eight back pain patients, and decreased slightly in three headache patients, three back and shoulder pain patients, and two patients with TMJ pain. Conclusions suggest that EMG biofeedback is generally more effective in treating tension headaches, but much less effective in the treatment of back, shoulder, or jaw pain, although the numbers of patients are small in the latter two groups.

(Arch Surg 112:889-895, 1977)

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