Biofeedback Treatment of Raynaud's Disease
M. Birger, R. Sha'anani, F. Pavlotzki
Psychiatric Day Care and Dermatology Depts., Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer and Psychiatric Service of Leumit Health Insurance Company
Raynaud's disease is characterized by intermittent peripheral vasoconstriction leading to pallor, cyanosis and reactive vasodilation of the arterioles of fingers and toes. These phenomena are accompanied by sensations of cold or warmth, pain and difficulty in manipulating the palms. Ulcerations of the fingertips can occur in severe cases. Since conservative medical treatment, consisting of preventive measures and changing various habits, results in alleviation in only half the patients, sympathectomy is often required. Psychological intervention, including biofeedback, also has a significant role. Biofeedback involving relaxation techniques, guided imagination, and in parallel, computer-assisted monitoring of sympathetic arousal, might lead to symptom reduction as a unique treatment or in conjunction with other treatment modalities.