Author: Hassan Ali
What is PEMF therapy?
Before we jump in and answer the question “does PEMF therapy really work”, let’s discuss what PEMF therapy is so we are all on the same page. It stands for Pulsed Electro Magnetic Field therapy. It is sometimes called low field magnetic stimulation (LFMS), it gets its name because it uses electromagnetic fields. As its name indicates that it is a kind of therapy where magnetism is used, mainly electromagnetism. By using this technology or technique, we can get to treat different kinds of problems in the human body. It might come out as a revolution in some cases.
It might come in handy as it is a safe method of minimizing pain or any kind of inflammation in the human body. They are also helpful in the ailment of several cellular dysfunctions. There are several kinds of PEMF devices that work by sending specific magnetic energy to the body, and it also helps in the improvement of conventional treatment methods. There are various devices available in the market, and they perform differently. Some are for targeted pain, while others are for the overall body. Some help in better sleep, while others are portable. All of them use the same technology of electromagnetic fields for the treatment.
How Does PEMF Work?
Our body’s health depends entirely on the normal functioning of the cells in our body. When they are disturbed due to any reason (due to a bruise or an injury or some bad diet plan or even getting older) then the system of our body is disturbed. More precisely we can say that the electromagnetic system is disturbed which also disrupts the normal functioning of cells. To restore the normal activities of cells in our body we need some external stimulus of the electromagnetic field. This is where the PEMF therapy comes in. This therapy is capable of stimulating the cells of the body and giving them a fresh start. When administered topically, PEMF treatment thoroughly penetrates the body, affecting individual cells, organs, tissues, and hence the entire organism.
What conditions are treated by PEMF therapy?
Firstly, let’s make one thing clear and that is PEMF therapy uses magnetic fields so they are not condition-specific. Everybody has cells in their body and there are various cellular reactions taking place in the body, so, these therapy methods give the same results to all the individuals. There are various types of conditions in which this therapy can be helpful let’s have a look at some of them.
1. Stress, Depression, and Anxiety
In this daily grind of life, all of us get through this phase of stress and depression. There are lots of conventional methods of treating anxiety disorders. But the PEMF therapy is a really effective one. The magnetic fields help the body go into a relaxed state. It does this by interacting with the low magnetic fields of the brain and thus relaxing the cells. It brings the cells into a relaxed parasympathetic state and also reduces inflammation.
The next one on our list relates to the first one which is the brain. Migraine is a type of pain that happens on one side of the head and it is a severe and pulsating kind of pain.
PEMF therapy is announced by FDA as a treatment for migraine. There is a device that sends electromagnetic radiation to the brain which minimizes the symptoms of a migraine headache.
In the daily hustle of life along with stress, sleep is also being affected. If you don’t sleep enough, your mental health and attentiveness will suffer. PEMF therapy has been shown to increase the quality and duration of sleep. PEMF therapy influences brainwave activity and assists the brain in entering the more ideal Delta frequency for sleep. Improving sleep quality can help with clinical problems like sadness and anxiety, so getting enough sleep should always be a top concern.
4. Pain and Inflammation
PEMF therapy is effective in many different kinds of pains like knee pain, back pain, muscle pain, osteoporosis, arthritis, tennis elbow, sciatica, and much more. PEMF devices provide an alternate method to pain treatment as it helps in decreasing the use of medicine. There are several pulsed electromagnetic field devices available. Those devices perform differently on the type of pain in the body.
5. Diabetic Neuropathy & Neuropathic Pain
PEMF was introduced to us when researchers were undertaking research on its influence on diabetic neuropathy. In our study, 15 people (ages 41 to 79) were enrolled. They were all suffering from severe diabetic neuropathy, which included pain and sensory loss. We demonstrated that PEMF significantly raised the foot’s temperature. Then the researchers led to testing it on the chest, where it increased temperature by 60C, signifying an improvement in heart circulation.
Neuropathic pain, and Peripheral neuropathy, in particular, are produced by the deranged firing of non-myelinated C-fibers, which leads to the accumulation of Na+ and Ca+2 channels. Because PEMF generates low-frequency currents capable of depolarizing, repolarizing, and safely hyperpolarizing neurons, has greater amounts of effects when targeted with a specific frequency of energy on afoot.
6. Blood Circulation and Bone Healing
Magnetic field application tends to improve the circulation in our body, accelerating the bone healing process, improvement in muscle functioning, and improving the oxygen-carrying capacity of our blood.
Note here is a complete article on bone healing using PEMF.
7. Immune System
The immune system usually may not always play a supportive role in regeneration, and some studies have revealed that severe inflammation could impede regeneration. There is a theory that pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy might alter immune-mediated processes of repair and regeneration, hence increasing tissue’s potential to regenerate.
8. Visual and Hearing Disorders
In the case of visual disorders, the PEMF therapy is able to be helpful in the treatment of cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, and Retinitis Pigmentosa.
While in the case of hearing disorders, there is a certain condition called ‘Tinnitus’ in which a person hears sounds from the inside of his own body. It is usually a ringing sound in the ears. PEMF therapy uses magnetic fields so it has been a useful treatment in reducing the symptoms of tinnitus.
Is there any proof that PEMF treatment is effective?
In Germany, researchers discovered that 10 Hertz (alpha) induction stabilized circadian cycles. This frequency can help to alleviate jet lag and other difficulties in sleep. The circadian rhythm regulates the body’s hormone symphony, and when it is out of sync or not in the appropriate phase, various disorders associated with improper hormone function begin to manifest in the body.
According to research, individuals suffering from neck discomfort as a result of acute whiplash experienced considerable pain relief when treated with a greater-frequency PEMF at 27 MHz.
A team of researchers looked at 83 people who had knee osteoarthritis (OA). For 6 weeks, participants received therapy for 2 hours per day, 5 days per week. The PEMF treatment group dramatically reduced pain, stiffness, and function, according to the research. The control group showed no improvement in function.
Other research for diabetic peripheral neuropathy has had inconclusive results. Randomized controlled trials found no significant reduction in pain with PEMF therapy in two groups, whereas two other studies found considerable improvement in pain in the PEMF group.
- Pulsed Magnetic Field Treatment of Anxiety, Panic, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (heraldopenaccess.us)
- Circadian Rhythm Disorders – What Are Circadian Rhythm Disorders? | NHLBI, NIH
- PEMF for Anxiety, OCD, and Depression – Dr. Roseann (drroseann.com)
- PEMF Therapy FDA Approved for Migraine Headaches – Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine, PC (lispinemed.com)
- PEMF for Anxiety, OCD, and Depression – Dr. Roseann (drroseann.com)
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- Evaluation of the efficacy of pulsed electromagnetic field in the management of patients with diabetic polyneuropathy – PMC (nih.gov)
- Impact of low frequency pulsed magnetic fields on pain intensity, quality of life, and sleep disturbances in patients with painful diabetic polyneuropathy – ScienceDirect
- [Low-frequency magnetic field in the complex treatment of patients with lumbar osteochondrosis] – Abstract – Europe PMC
- The Use of Pulsed Electromagnetic Field to Modulate Inflammation and Improve Tissue Regeneration: A Review – PMC (nih.gov)
- Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy for Eyes « Science and Enterprise (technewslit.com)
- Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Stimulation of Bone Healing and Joint Preservation: Cellular Mechanisms of Skeletal Response