14 Aug Benefits of Biofeedback during Recovery
Author: Margaret Kane, PTA
Biofeedback has been successfully utilized for over fifty years in recovery of injuries to encourage a normal and strong postural development after damage. It is the method of giving biological awareness, which would otherwise be unknown, to patients as they progress through therapy. This awareness can sometimes be used by the patient as extrinsic feedback, which is feedback that provides the patient with necessary information that queues them to correct their performance of activities in a proper manner.
Here at Injury Care Center located in Delaware County we incorporate Biofeedback into our rehabilitation programs. If you look around at the general population located in Delaware County, you will find that many individuals suffer from poor posture. This accompanied by a work injury makes recovery become even more challenging. Biofeedback devices contain sensors that read the position of your body when in a slumped posture. The biofeedback device then lets you know your postural positioning is off track and responds with a vibration. This method will train your body to form good habits even after the device is taken off. Biofeedback is a training procedure aimed at helping a patient achieve control over a physiologic process. Audio and visual signals will provide patients with the feedback they need in order to correct a slumped position. Biofeedback is medically indicated for the purpose of spinal injuries, disc herniation, spinal conditions, certain extremity injuries and work injury to allow progression back into the work force and other medical conditions where correct alignment is necessary to allow recovery from injury and prevent further injury or re-injury. Biofeedback helps you to improve your spinal posture and alignment. The system involves a small signaling unit held against your body between the shoulder blades and the waist. Adjustable straps hold in place and allow you to set the unit to the desired posture. As you begin to slouch, round your shoulders or slump your upper body forward, the unit emits a gentle signal of gentle vibration or loud tone that remind you to immediately correct your posture. As soon as you regain proper spinal alignment, the signal switches off. We use it during functional tasks such as lifting, carrying, reaching, and squatting. This helps to hasten the injured employee’s return to work with the ability to develop ‘muscle memory’ of proper spinal alignment during these types of tasks. It has proven very effective in providing the immediate feedback that the patient needs and has great carry-over to functional training thereby eventually reducing injury rates.
When rehabilitating from an injury at Injury Care Center, we know the importance of successful recovery. Biofeedback is an important part of our exercise regime. It is used not only with work reconditioning and repetitive functional movements, but also with our standard matrix exercise machines. Patients using Biofeedback with their exercise program will overtime feel the benefits of this training. By encouraging correct posture, the patient will eventually experience a reduction in pain and will notice a stronger abdominal region. On the occasion of recovering after an injury patients learn a lot about their body, primarily the toll the injury has taken on their posture. This is why the biofeedback helps in constantly reminding you in keeping your spine in proper alignment position. When using the biofeedback unit during your regular rehab sessions, it will help to make the mind more aware, therefore allowing the strengthening exercises to be more effective. Once you have retrained your body to move with proper posture, you form a healthy habit that will last with you post injury. Using Biofeedback will help you to move with less pain therefore allowing less sedentary lifestyle. The Biofeedback unit also will help you to correct poor posture when sitting for longs periods of time. Using Biofeedback to encourage an upright and erect posture has positive impacts that occur for the patients. Not only do they have a reduction in overall body pain and discomfort, but also they appear to have a better self-image and confidence. After your rehabilitation is completed with biofeedback, patients will be able to sit more comfortably in a chair, have greater ease of performing activities of daily living and will be able to perform at work with a decreased risk of re-injury. The Biofeedback trainer increases your awareness of posture so you’re not cognitively thinking about it and it becomes natural to you. So if you are complaint with your Biofeedback treatment while in therapy you will have great success in the long run and with less re-injury.
If you are suffering from injury to your spine and believe that you can benefit from medical care, please consult your doctor or give us a call.
Author: Margaret Kane, PTA