EMG Biofeedback facts and proven results

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EMG Biofeedback has been tested,
analyzed and proven to be effective
in several conditions and pathologies.
Here's some data to help you get started:

    50% reduction in shoulder impingement and painful shoulder recovery time. 1
    97% - 100% recovery for urinary incontinence. 2
    Rheumatoid arthritis patients felt more than 25% reduction in long term pain.
    Relaxation training with assisted biofeedback decreased perception of pain in adults with cerebral palsy. 3
    Improves ankle motion and gait functionality. 4
    Improves motor control in standing and sitting position, and control of head and upper end. 5
    Useful in neuromuscular reeducation of patients with hemiplegia. 6
1) LEVANGIE, P. K., HUMPHREY, E. C. The shoulder girdle: kinesiology review. Magazine of physical therapy. 2000, y. 8, n. 12, p. 48-61.; PATERSON, C. & SPARKS, V. The effects of a six week scapular muscle exercise programme on the muscle activity of the scapular rotators in tennis players with shoulder impingement — A pilot study. 2006; MATIAS, R. & CRUZ, R. Estabilidade Dinâmica. 2004; SANTOS, C. Protocolo de fisioterapia, com auxílio de biofeedback electromiográfico, em utentes com disfunções do ombro: efeitos na dor, funcionalidade e estabilidade dinâmica. 2011;
2) BØ, K. et al. Single blind, randomised controlled trial of pelvic floor exercises, electrical stimulation, vaginal cones, and no treatment in management of genuine stress incontinence in women. 1999; BØ, K. Is there still a place for physiotherapy in the treatment of female incontinence?. 2003; BENEDETTO, P. Female urinary incontinence rehabilitation. 2004;
3)ENGEL, J. M., JENSEN, M. P., & SCHWARTZ, L. (2004). Outcome of biofeedback-assisted relaxation for pain in adults with cerebral palsy: preliminary findings. Applied psychophysiology and biofeedback, 29(2), 135-140.;
4) BOLEK, J. E. (2003). A preliminary study of modification of gait in real-time using surface electromyography. Applied psychophysiology and biofeedback, 28(2), 129-138.; BOLEK, J. E. (2006). Use of multiple-site performance-contingent SEMG reward programming in pediatric rehabilitation: A retrospective review. Applied psychophysiology and biofeedback, 31(3), 263-272.; DURSUN, E., DURSON, N. & ALICAN, D. Ankle-foot orthoses: effect on gait in children with cerebral palsy. 2002;
5) BOLEK, J. E. Use of Multiple-Site Performance-Contingent SEMG Reward Programming in Pediatric Rehabilitation: A Retrospective Review. 2006;
6) SCHLEENBAKER, Randal E.; MUINOUS III, Arch G. Electromyographic biofeedback for neuromuscular reeducation in the hemiplegic stroke patient: a meta-analysis. Medicine, 1993, 40536: 0284.


Biofeedback is the process of gaining greater awareness of many physiological functions primarily using instruments that provide information on the activity of those same systems, with a goal of being able to manipulate them at will. Some of the processes that can be controlled include brainwaves, muscle tone, skin conductance, heart rate and pain perception. It may be used to improve health, performance, and the physiological changes that often occur in conjunction with changes to thoughts, emotions, and behavior. Eventually, these changes may be maintained without the use of extra equipment, for no equipment is necessarily required to practice biofeedback.

Three professional biofeedback organizations, the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB), Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA), and the International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR), arrived at a consensus definition of biofeedback in 2008:

“A process that enables an individual to learn how to change physiological activity for the purposes of improving health and performance. Precise instruments measure physiological activity such as brainwaves, heart function, breathing, muscle activity, and skin temperature. These instruments rapidly and accurately 'feed back' information to the user. The presentation of this information — often in conjunction with changes in thinking, emotions, and behavior — supports desired physiological changes. Over time, these changes can endure without continued use of an instrument."
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