Biofeedback for Neuromuscular Re-Education in Spinal Cord Injury Patients
Mary Free Bed’s Biofeedback Laboratory for Neuromuscular Re-education is one of the few facilities in West Michigan to offer the therapy that’s designed for spinal cord injury patients with non-degenerative, non-progressive neurological disabilities.
Biofeedback is based on operant conditioning and is designed to teach spinal cord injury patients to use motor cells in the brain, brain stem, and spinal cord more efficiently.
How Biofeedback Works for Spinal Cord Injury Patients
The most remarkable part about neuromuscular rehabilitation is that it is not a time-sensitive therapy – there is no window of opportunity that can be missed. For spinal cord patients, a longer period of time between the injury and the use of biofeedback may be beneficial. Biofeedback offers hope to spinal cord injury patients who may have stopped seeking alternative solutions or who may feel it’s too late to attempt rehabilitation.
The process of neuromuscular feedback begins with an evaluation that enables therapists to develop a personalized care plan. The plan is carried out using a special electromyography (EMG) biofeedback system that helps identify voluntary muscle control. Through visual and auditory feedback, patients learn how to reproduce, maintain, and control EMG responses to maximize muscle function. Biofeedback helps the brain reconnect with parts of the body it is not communicating with. The feedback, combined with behavioral conditioning techniques, helps patients to re-educate their muscles.
Biofeedback Services Explained
To be seen, a patient must first be evaluated by a physician who writes a prescription.
A trained physical therapist or occupational therapist will assess upper and lower extremity function, functional activities of daily living, balance, and gait.
Individualized care plan
According to the patient's goals and findings from the evaluation, the therapist will determine the appropriate therapeutic steps to maximize learning for optimal recovery of function after a spinal cord injury.
Biofeedback training sessions
Surface electrodes are placed over muscles with limited or no function. The computer equipment continuously reads the patient's neuromuscular signals to provide accurate and instantaneous feedback. Up to four channels can be processed simultaneously, in real time, with no discernible delay between the EMG response and the display of the response. This gives the patient the immediate feedback vital for successful operant conditioning. The wide selection of graphics and audio options provides the patient with feedback and goals that are easily understood.
Communication with therapy services
Our biofeedback therapists will provide a written plan to additional therapy services with which the patient may be receiving treatment. This measure facilitates continuity of care and a team approach.
Our program encourages follow-up or congruent physical and/or occupational therapy services to reinforce the neuropathways that are used through the biofeedback operant learning procedure and achieve functional carry over.
Contact the Biofeedback Lab
616.242.0392 or 800.528.8989