Tension headaches: what form of therapy is most effective?

Biofeedback Self Regul. 1976 Jun;1(2):183-90. doi: 10.1007/BF00998585.


In order to assess the effectiveness of verbal relaxation instructions and EMG relaxation training on the relief of tension headaches, 18 medically documented tension-headache sufferers were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: (1) Jacobson-Wolpe autogenic-relaxation training, (2) EMG relaxation training, or (3) EMG relaxation training combined with Jacobson-Wolpe autogenic instructions. The two EMG-assisted groups showed significantly better results, compared to the verbal group, in terms of reduction of headache activity and the rate at which reduction took place. Thus, EMG-assisted relaxation procedures seem the treatment method of choice for relief of tension headaches.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biofeedback, Psychology
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Headache / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Relaxation
  • Relaxation Therapy*