Subjects with chronic migraine or tension headaches will receive 12 sessions of biofeedback
or relaxation training after fulfilling screening, intake interviews, & psychological
testing requirements. They will chart headache pain, anger level, & medication usage
throughout baseline, treatment, and 3 month follow-up periods.
Migraine sufferers will receive a combination of progressive muscle relaxation training and
thermal biofeedback (learning to warm hands). Subjects are randomly assigned to receive
treatment either in the office with the therapist or from another room (where communication
will be over a computer). The research is designed to compare the effectiveness of
treatment based on location.
Tension headache sufferers will receive training in how to reduce their muscle tension
levels. They will be randomly assigned to have equipment monitor muscle tension levels
either in the forehead or shoulder regions. The research is designed to compare the
effectiveness of feedback to the forehead versus the shoulder muscles.
Subjects must be at least 18 years old and have chronic headaches of any of the following
types: migraine, coexisting migraine/tension, or tension. Participants must be
intellectually intact and have no significant physical, neurological, or psychological
problems. They must have seen a physician for their headaches within the past year. They
must successfully complete screening/interview/testing process prior to admission to
All vascular headache subjects must meet the criteria for chronic migraine or coexisting
migraine and tension type headache as set forth by the Headache Classification Committee
of the International Headache Society.
All tension headache subjects must meet the criteria for either episodic or chronic
tension headache set forth by the Headache Classification Committee, as well as the Ad Hoc
Committee's criteria for tension headache.