Biofeedback can be an effective non-medicinal modality utilized in managing headache (both migraine and tension-type). It is a way that sufferers can learn to control body functions that were previously thought to be involuntary. The patient becomes integrally involved in his or her own headache treatment.
A person must be amenable to this type of therapy and willing to practice and make a commitment. Relaxation techniques, through warming of the hands and muscle relaxation, are practiced with the aid of instruments such as a finger thermometer or computer for measuring temperature or muscle tension. Some biofeedback techniques monitor brain wave activity. After repeated exercise, the patient gradually learns physiological sensations or body cues that eventually allow the elimination of the measuring instruments. Thus, biofeedback can be utilized at any time or any place when needed.
Biofeedback can be utilized alone or in combination with medication to prevent attacks or reverse attacks once started.