PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy)

Pain, Joint disorders | February 8, 2018 | Author: Naturopath

Alternative Therapies, Pain, Muscles

PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy)

Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy is a safe, drug free alternative that has been found to offer therapeutic benefits for joint and cartilage related pathologies.

Debilitating conditions that may benefited include:

  • Stiffness in Joints
  • Painful joints
  • Lower back pain
  • Sprains and strains
  • Decreased physical function
  • Chronic pain
  • Wound healing

Electromagnetic pulse therapy can be used alongside of other therapies and is considered an adjunct to treatment. It is ingredient free, so interactions are minimal, and painless.

Electromagnetic Pulse TherapyThere is nothing new about Electromagnetic therapy. It has been around for over 100 years, according to James L. Oschman PhD, in Energy Medicine (Second Edition), 2016, it has been used by the former Soviet Union as complementary treatment to pharmacology. Pulsing electromagnetic field therapy was used by the cosmonauts during the Soviet space explorations, to help reduce the loss of bone density that occurs when they were removed from the Earth’s gravitational and magnetic fields.

Back on Earth, this form of therapy was embraced by Soviet medical doctors, who wanted to use the technology on their patients. Eventually, it was used in hospitals throughout the Soviet Union and in Eastern Europe.

NASA (National Aeronautical and Space Administration) also saw the need to develop a means of preventing and treating bone and muscle loss of their astronauts as they explored the moon and other regions of the galaxy. Methods were developed to enhance bone retention, prevent or alleviate muscle atrophy, and enhance natural healing and regeneration whilst in a space environment with little access to conventional treatments.

Use of this device on earth was found beneficial in the treatment of various muscle diseases, age and cancer-related muscle atrophy, osteoporosis, and other bone diseases.

By the time NASA began research in this area, it had been accepted that weak, non-ionizing electromagnetic fields can exert effects on biological targets without heating them.

The use of pulsing electromagnetic fields for stimulating healing in fracture non-union in orthopaedic practise was approved by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) in 1979. [1]

The research

Osteoarthritis and other degenerative joint diseases can severely effect quality of life and autonomy.

A recent study done on the elderly to investigate the clinical efficacy of a PEMF device for management of knee osteoarthritis in elderly patients found that PEMF therapy improves pain, stiffness and physical function in elderly patients affected by knee osteoarthritis. [2]

Lower back pain 

Such common complaint worldwide.

A review of pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) therapy has shown significant clinical benefits in several musculoskeletal conditions.

The review concluded PEMF therapy seems to be able to relieve the pain intensity and improve functionality in individuals with low back pain conditions.  

 

PEMF therapy seems to reduce the pain intensity and enhance better functionality in individuals with low back pain independently of the low back pain condition.  [3]

Bone healing

The research suggests the use of Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) may be a useful adjunct to conventional healing methods in the repair of bone. [4]

Inflammation

Studies have found encouraging therapeutic results in various inflammatory diseases, in the functional recovery of the damaged cartilage tissues, for pain, and in central nervous system disorders from use PEMFs. [8]

Pain and oedema

A study was done on the use of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy in plastic surgery practice which concluded PEMF therapy can be successfully in the management of postsurgical pain and oedema, the treatment of chronic wounds, and in facilitating vasodilatation and angiogenesis. [7]

Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's DiseaseA study was done to investigate the effects of a low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic field (LF-PEMF) in an experimental cell model of Alzheimer's disease (AD) to assess new therapies that counteract neurodegeneration. The study found LF-PEMF was able to modulate miRNAs. MiRNAs play a very important role in regulating the activity of other parts of your DNA.[5]Further studies suggested to negate any adverse side effects and establish useful therapeutic use. [6]
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How does it work

The device uses an external, non-invasive pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) to generate shorts bursts of electrical current to injured tissue without producing heat or interfering with nerve or muscle function.

Chronic pain results from central sensitization, which causes the nervous system to develop a persistent state of high reactivity. This serves to amplify and maintain the pain even after the initial injury has healed, electromagnetic signal stimulate neuromodulation of the afferent nerves to dampen the brains perception of pain.[9]
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This electrical activity simulated the natural activity of bone and joints during movement, activating a cascade of activity at the gene level to promote angiogenesis – the formation of new blood vessels and new bone formation. This contributes to improvement to fracture repair.

How does PEMF differ from T.E.N.S machine

How does PEMF differ from T.E.N.S machineTENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation which is a non-invasive drug free method of pain relief for both symptomatic and chronic pain. Transcutaneous means across the skin. A TENS machine relieves pain by sending tiny electrical impulses through electrodes placed on or near the area of pain or pressure point to underlying nerve fibres.

PEMF is hypothesized to directly stimulate cellular repair without heat, vibration or nerve stimulation.

How to use

Now-a-days there are numerous devices available for personal use. Follow the instructions given when using a particlular device but general instructions inclue is placeding directly over the source of pain and leaving till pain subsides.

Warnings

  • The use of a PEMF device is contraindication over implanted electrical devices like pacemakers, cochlear implants, intrathecal pumps, etc., as the magnetic field can shut the device off or otherwise interfere with its function.
  • Not suitable in pregnancy, due to the lack of research
  • Not suitable for transplant patients

It is suggested to check with your medical practitioner before use

In conclusion it is suggested that Electromagnetic Pulse Therapy may be a useful non- invasive treatment for conditions where pain and inflammation exist.

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References

1 https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/pulsed-electromagnetic-field-therapy

2 Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy for management of osteoarthritis-related pain, stiffness and physical function: clinical experience in the elderly. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3791961/

3 Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy effectiveness in low back pain: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2444866416300514

4 Extremely low frequency pulsed electromagnetic fields cause antioxidative defence mechanisms in human osteoblasts via induction of •O2- and H2O2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29109418

5. http://theconversation.com/explainer-microrna-the-puppet-master-of-the-genome-39641

6 Low-Frequency Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Is Able to Modulate miRNAs in an Experimental Cell Model of Alzheimer's Disease https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29072895, https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jhe/2017/2530270/

7 Evidence-Based Use of Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy in Clinical Plastic Surgery https://academic.oup.com/asj/article/29/2/135/270272

8 Review Article Adenosine Receptors as a Biological Pathway for the Anti-Inflammatory and Beneficial Effects of Low Frequency Low Energy Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields https://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/2740963/

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Further reading

https://www.drpawluk.com/education/pemf-information/contraindications/

MicroRNAs: Synthesis, mechanism, function, and recent clinical trialshttps://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167488910001837

 

 

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