When The Head Aches, The Urine Leaks And The Jaw Pops
Have you heard of Biofeedback? Well have you ever stepped on a scale? It gives you feedback whether you like it or not. It might tell you to hit the gym. How about a thermometer? That also gives you feedback like it’s time to take some medication. Your physical therapist might try or recommend you to have Biofeedback to help manage many different conditions.
In the physical therapy setting, biofeedback helps the therapist and the patient monitor an individuals performance of how a muscle is firing. It could be firing too much or not enough by giving you a visual or an audible “feedback”. Small electrodes are attached to your skin and detect muscle activation through surface electromyograms (EMG). The device can be a simple hand held device or a bigger more complicated device can be used. EMG Biofeedback can be used when treating headaches (migraine and or tension-type headaches), neck and low back pain, shoulder and knee problems, pelvic pain, incontinence and temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD).
During a session of biofeedback for the treatment of headaches or TMD, I will see how well your forehead/jaw/shoulder/neck muscles relax after they contract. I will work on helping you find the proper posture in sitting, standing and lying down that helps to relax those muscles. I usually include ergonomics with computers so you can see how some positions allow those muscles to rest better than others. I will also assess your breathing. Either individuals use their diaphragm to breath or what a lot of people use instead are accessory muscles like the neck or abdomen. In order for the body to change these bad habits of tension holding or breath holding you need to increase your body awareness. First see it on the screen, then feel it over and over and over. It takes 2000 reps to change a habit. Ready……set……go!
Women’s Health Therapists use biofeedback to help treat urinary and stress incontinence and pelvic pain. Ever sneeze or jump on a trampoline and stop quick because you’re going to pee your pants. Biofeedback can be used to ensure you are working the proper pelvic floor muscles that get weakened during pregnancy and childbirth. These are what are needed to help support the bladder. Tammy Kasprowicz is a Women’s Health Physical Therapist in our Forest Lake office and treats these kinds of problems which can help reduce the need for medication.
Are you suffering from headaches? Do you hold your breath? Do you squint or clench your teeth? Are you going mock 5 all day long? Do you think your muscles relax when you fall asleep? Well….your muscles are usually staying activated once you stop moving unless you train them to relax. So are you a candidate for Biofeedback? I’m interested in hearing from you.