Biofeedback in the Treatment of Neuromuscular Disorders
In this chapter the published papers and few yet unpublished abstracts on the treatment of neuromuscular disorders through biofeedback are reviewed. The term “neuromuscular disorders” as it is used here includes some areas that usually are not treated by physical rehabilitation methods, but render themselves apparently to biofeedback treatment, e.g. recto-sphincter responses (Kohlenberg, 1973; Engel, Nikoomanesh, & Schuster, 1974). Here as in the other cases described in the review, a muscular response that in healthy persons is voluntary, has lost this property due to disease and an attempt is made to reinstitute regular activity through operant conditioning procedures. Since the first major review on clinical applications of biofeedback (Blanchard & Young, 1974) the literature in this specific part of biofeedback research has vastly grown, including a large variety of approaches. Where some researchers seem to be mainly design oriented, others try to use biofeedback methods from a more clinical point of view. The earlier articles focus strongly on the technical side of biofeedback and describe in detail the application of this new method to a variety of disorders, resulting in rather anecdotal case reports (e.g., Marinacci & Horande, 1960). This broad range of intentions and resulting designs make it difficult for the reader to find out which disorders have been treated, the nature of the treatment, and the success of the outcome. The present review is therefore organized around the clinical symptom, and is mainly descriptive in nature. Final conclusions are only drawn in areas where the accumulated evidence is large enough to allow such a decision. In quite a few instances, judgements are left to the reader, who might or might not be willing to accept the evidence for his particular intentions.
KeywordsCerebral Palsy Peripheral Nerve Injury Neuromuscular Disorder Single Motor Unit Feedback Training
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