EMG-assisted relaxation training in the management of chronic low back pain


Journal Article

This study examines the short and long-term effects of EMG-assisted relaxation training in a series of 18 chronic low back pain patients. All patients had a minimum of six laboratory training sessions and were asked to practice on their own what they were learning in the laboratory. The results indicated that patients showed significant decreases in EMG activity within and across sessions as a function of training. Significant decreases in subjective ratings of tension were obtained within and across training sessions and there was a significant drop in daily ratings of tension taken outside of the lab environment over the course of treatment. The patients also showed a significant decrease in levels of pain within each training session. While there was a tendency for daily pain ratings to decrease over the course of treatment, this did not reach statistical significance. However, by the end of the first six laboratory sessions, 15 out of 18 patients reported experiencing regular decreases in pain while practicing their relaxation skills outside of the lab. At one year follow-up, 9 out of 13 patients responding had maintained initial therapeutic gains.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Keefe, FJ; Schapira, B; Williams, RB

Published Date

  • January 1, 1981

Published In

  • American Journal of Clinical Biofeedback

Volume / Issue

  • 4 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 93 - 103

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0190-4019

Citation Source

  • Scopus