Mercy College Professor Marc Campo, in collaboration with a group of researchers from across the globe, were recently published in the academic journal Musculoskeletal Science and Practice. The article titled, “The effectiveness of biofeedback for improving pain, disability and work ability in adults with neck pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis,” measures the effectiveness of two types of biofeedback – EMG biofeedback and pressure biofeedback – which are used as commonly in clinical practice to treat patients with neck pain.
EMG biofeedback involves attaching an EMG sensor to muscles around the neck to examine muscle activity. If muscles are found to be over-active, physical therapists teach patients to relax these muscles. Pressure biofeedback is a tool used to identify muscles deep in the cervical spine that may not be in efficient use. Once inactive muscles are identified in a patient, physical therapists use pressure biofeedback to re-educate and activate these muscles.
In conducting the systematic review and meta-analysis, Campo and his partner researchers collected numerous studies on biofeedback, analyzed their strengths and weaknesses, and drew conclusions based on their summarized results. They developed inclusion criteria for the types of articles used in the analysis and ultimately based their findings on 14 screened journal publications.
“Based on our findings, we recommend that biofeedback can be a potential adjunct treatment in physical therapy but should probably not be the primary intervention,” Campo said. “We hope that this study helps inform future physical therapy and clinical practices and improves patient outcomes.”
Campo teaches the rehabilitation research sequence for Mercy’s physical therapy program and has his students perform a systematic review. He looks forward to applying his experience as lead researcher to his curricula. “The experience has added substantially in my ability to teach in these areas and research methods,” Campo explained.