Biofeedback is an excellent preventive headache treatment with its efficacy proven in many rigorous studies. What prompted me to write this blog post is seeing yet another child (I see kids with headaches aged 10 and older) who had seen his pediatrician and a pediatric neurologist and neither physician mentioned biofeedback. Instead, they just prescribed drugs. Biofeedback is very effective for adults as well, but seeing a 10-year-old child with headaches who is prescribed medications as the only option was somehow more upsetting than when I see and adult under the same circumstances. Children tend to learn biofeedback with greater ease than adults – sometimes they need only 4 – 5 sessions instead of the usual 10 or more. Biofeedback is a way to learn to relax and stay relaxed under pressure, at least relaxed as far as your body goes, if not the mind. The person learning biofeedback is usually connected to a computer by a probe which measures body’s temperature or muscle tension (or brain wave activity in case of neurofeedback). The computer displays this information on the screen, which helps you learn how to relax your body. Biofeedback is taught by a psychologist, a nurse or another trained professional. Some insurers will cover this treatment, but many do not. Fortunately, studies show that self-taught relaxation training can be as effective as biofeedback. There are many free sources and some that you can buy. Many people are skeptical about biofeedback, but there is a simple explanation why it works. You are supposed to stop for a minute or even less to take an inventory of neck, facial, and other muscles, to make sure you are not tensing them up, then take a few deep breath. This will bring your tension down just a little, but if you repeat this one minute exercise every hour, at the end of the day you will avoid having knots in your shoulders and your neck and may avoid a headache. Eventually, this exercise becomes subconscious as you automatically monitor your body and whenever you feel that you are frowning, holding shoulders up, or holding your breath, you stop doing that without having to pause.
In addition to biofeedback and obvious sleep, exercise, and food recommendations, I suggest that all children take a magnesium and CoQ10 supplements. Both have been shown to help children with migraines.

Submit comment