This study is the first systematic examination of a trapezius EMG biofeedback training regimen with tension headache sufferers. It evaluated the differential effects of three psychophysiological treatments for tension headache: (1) a standard 12-session frontal EMG biofeedback training regimen (n = 8), (2) a 12-session upper trapezius EMG biofeedback training regimen (n = 10), and (3) a standard seven-session progressive muscle relaxation therapy regimen (n = 8). Posttreatment assessment at 3 months following cessation of treatment revealed clinically significant decreases in overall headache activity (50% or greater) in 50% of subjects in the frontal biofeedback group, 100% in the trapezius biofeedback group, and 37.5% in the relaxation therapy group. Chi-squared analyses indicated that the trapezius biofeedback group was more effective in obtaining significant clinical improvement than the frontal biofeedback and relaxation therapy groups (which did not differ from each other). The three treatments did not differ on secondary measures of headache improvement (number of headache-free days, peak headache activity, and medication index). Implications for the psychophysiological treatment of tension headache, as well as future research directions, are discussed.
View details for Web of Science ID A1995RM33500007
View details for PubMedID 7672959