Thermal biofeedback for claudication in diabetes: a literature review and case study

Altern Med Rev. 1999 Apr;4(2):104-10.

Abstract

Temperature biofeedback (TBFB) is designed to alter cutaneous temperature in treated extremities by providing information corresponding to minor temperature fluctuations in the context of therapeutic structure and reinforcement. Toe TBFB may improve vascular flow and walking tolerance in patients with peripheral vascular disease. This case study documents improved walking in a diabetes patient with lower extremity complications, and suggests TBFB might increase lower extremity temperature and blood flow volume pulse in uncomplicated diabetes. Ankle-brachial index (ABI) and walking function were assessed in a 60-year-old woman with type 2 diabetes and intermittent claudication, before and after five sessions of TBFB applied to the ventral surface of the great toe. Toe temperature increased during feedback phases but not during baseline phases. Improvements were seen in ankle-brachial index, walking distance, walking speed, and stair climbing. This case indicates the need for extended and controlled study of TBFB for improved vascular and ambulatory function in diabetic claudication.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biofeedback, Psychology*
  • Body Temperature Regulation*
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intermittent Claudication / etiology
  • Intermittent Claudication / therapy*
  • Middle Aged