Biofeedback is a technique that is unique to Rose. Our therapists use biofeedback to train clients to control their muscles. The biofeedback technique allows our clients to visually see their muscle contractions in order to enhance efficient movement. Sometimes clients do not realize that they have muscle imbalances; or they may not know how to improve the tone in muscles they are not already using. Biofeedback can be used to help them understand what contracting an underused muscle should feel like.
- For instance, a cyclist with knee pain may show equal power on each pedal using a power meter. Biofeedback can allow us to isolate whether imbalances exist between the quads and hamstrings, the imbalance leading to the knee pain and reducing power and efficiency. A cyclist showing these symptoms may not have any problems with bike fit--this is purely a muscle imbalance.
- Biofeedback is not just useful for athletes. We often use it to show patients how to improve posture and desk ergonomics. Biofeedback can be used to visually show the patient how to contract and relax their muscles to acheive the best ergonomic position and avoid injury.
Biofeedback uses surface electrode sensors on adhesive patches to measure the firing of individual muscles. The surface sensor is then attached to an electromyograph which measures muscle contractions that are recorded on a computer. In addition to measuring muscle contraction, system can also be sued for analysis of heart rate, blood pressure and skin temperature.
As a technique, biofeedback is a specialty often done singularly for a career (i.e. a biofeedback specialist) and it is rarely seen in a physical therapy clinic. Rose adopted the technique because it is extremely useful in diagnosis and teaching patients.