What is the role of biofeedback in the treatment of hemiplegic shoulder pain?

Updated: Feb 08, 2019
  • Author: Robert Gould, DO; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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Answer

Answer

Biofeedback is based on muscular relaxation and/or reeducation by verbal, visual, sensory, or auditory responses. Biofeedback is used in an attempt to relax the antagonist muscles, subsequently allowing the opposed agonists to function more effectively. In order to reeducate the upper extremity, the spastic scapular and glenohumeral antagonist muscles need to be released in order for the agonists to work more proficiently.

A common type of biofeedback, which was first introduced in 1960, involves the use of EMG for neuromuscular reeducation. Overall, trials involving EMG biofeedback have shown mixed results, and its cost-effectiveness is uncertain. However, a meta-analysis by Schleenbaker and Mainous showed it to be an effective tool for neuromuscular reeducation and improving functional outcomes in stroke patients with hemiplegia. [65]


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