Referring to techniques used to control the body’s involuntary functions and responses to pain, biofeedback is different from other conservative methods like meditation and yoga because it’s physiological in nature.When used to relieve back pain, biofeedback can ease muscle tension by regulating breathing and other biological functions that can cause muscle stress.
Harnessing ‘Mind Power’
The purpose of biofeedback, according to spine surgeons in Beverly Hills, is to create an awareness of the body’s life responses–primarily heart rate, breathing, and brain wave activity. The patient is taught to gain control over involuntary functions, such as blood pressure and skin temperature. Biofeedback sessions, performed by a licensed therapist, often involve:
- Electrodes or finger sensors
- Monitoring biological activities
- Mental and physical Relaxation exercises
Relaxing Back-Supporting Muscles
After a patient learns the basics, the technique can be performed at home with software that can be used to view data from sensors on any computer or device. The main focus of biofeedback is learning how to spot signs of tension and perform relaxation techniques as necessary. Such techniques can include:
- Tightening and relaxing different muscle groups
- Deep and controlled breathing
- Guided imagery, or positive visualization
- Mindful meditation, or the release of negative thoughts
There’s no clear reason why biofeedback works for some patients. Since the results are considered subjective, it may not provide noticeable results for everyone. Generally, if a patient isn’t experiencing any difference in their pain after a series of initial sessions, it’s recommended that they consider other options.
Although there are no known side effects, biofeedback isn’t meant to replace medical treatments for back pain; and it may not be effective when there are clearly identified physical causes of back pain such as disc herniation. Some patients only need a handful of sessions while others need more before they feel comfortable doing it on their own time.
Learn more about treatment options for back pain, including fusion and non-fusion spine procedures, from the experienced staff at The Spine Institute in Los Angeles. Give us a call today at (310) 828-7757 and request an in-person consultation with Medical Director Dr. Hyun Bae, a conservative spine surgeon who can help you navigate your options for pain relief.