Brief summary of evidence supporting the efficacy of biofeedback for Arthritis:
Yucha and Gilbert (2004) reported that "both thermal and EMG biofeedback have been used to teach relaxation techniques to adults with chronic arthritis. A recent meta-analysis of 25 randomized controlled studies demonstrated significant pooled effect sizes post- intervention for pain, functional disability, psychological status, coping, and self efficacy (Astin, Becker, Soeken, Hochberg, & Berman, 2002). Thermal biofeedback coupled with cognitive behavioral therapy decreased pain behaviors, self-reports of pain intensity, and rheumatoid factor titer (a measure of disease activity), in comparison to control subjects and those receiving social support only (Bradley, 1985; Bradley et al., 1987).
This intervention was associated with a reduction in rheumatoid arthritis related clinic visits and days hospitalized, thereby decreasing medical costs (Young, Bradley, & Turner, 1995). EMG biofeedback also reduced duration, intensity and quality of pain in comparison to control groups (Flor, Gunther, Turk, & Koehler, 1983) and these beneficial effects were maintained 2.5 years later (Flor, Gunther, & Turk, 1986). "
* Much of the information provided here is from Carolyn Yucha and Christopher Gilbert's 2004 book "Evidence Based Practice in Biofeedback & Neurofeedback" AAPB, Wheat Ridge, CO.