Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy
Backed by NASA, validated by science, and approved by the FDA as one of the strongest bone stimulators available, Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy has become one of our favorite services at MOTUS Specialists Physical Therapy. PEMF is a unique tool that uses electromagnetic fields to energize cells and reduce pain and dysfunction. This therapy is relatively new in the United States, but it’s been used in Europe and other countries for decades. At first, it was more common to see PEMF used to treat race horses than to help humans. Horses that received PEMF showed improvements in things like jump height and endurance. However, as science has continued to explore the effects of PEMF it’s become an increasingly popular tool for improved health and healing in humans as well. The concept of PEMF goes back at least to the 1950s, where Japan published the first known papers on using micro-currents to treat injuries to the bone tissue.1 Since then, it has been tested all around the world, and proven to have many benefits for patients of acute or chronic pain or injury. Even NASA has tested and approved of PEMF therapy as a means to enhance the function of cells and tissues.2 Healthy cells contribute to our overall well being. PEMF can give cells the boost they need to make the body well.
What is Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy?
Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) is an innovative and non-invasive way of treating pain. This therapy works by enhancing the body’s natural recovery strategies by way of energizing cells that are damaged or dysfunctional.
Our bodies use electricity to send signals through the nervous system to the brain and throughout the body. Electricity is an inherent part of how we feel, how we think, and how we move.
When we get sick, injured, or even depressed, it often coincides with a disruption in the body’s electrical currents. PEMF can revitalize activity by boosting cells with energy that helps them snap back into action for optimized functionality and healing.
How Does PEMF Therapy Work?
Healthy cells have both positive and negative charges in their membranes. The cells use these charges to move nutrients and waste, which keeps them healthy. When the cells lose charge due to illness or injury, they lose their ability to take in the nutrients and get rid of the waste. Cells with low charge can lead to pain, fatigue, and inflammation.PEMF therapy renews these cells by harnessing the power of electromagnetic energy. The therapy uses a device that releases electromagnetic waves, directing the electromagnetic fields towards the targeted area. These energy fields enter into the cells of an injured or damaged area, where they are then able to absorb the energy and recharge. This energy absorption is like an exercise for the cells, which lends PEMF therapy the nickname of “cellular exercise.” Once the cells are energized, cellular activity can increase and cells can begin sorting wastes and nutrients more efficiently.
What are the Benefits of PEMF?
Studies on PEMF have uncovered numerous benefits from this innovative therapy. It’s used widely to reduce inflammation and pain, as it improves circulation and regenerates blood cells. Better functioning cells help the body synthesize collagen, a big part of muscle elasticity. In this way, PEMF can increase range of motion and flexibility.
PEMF is also shown to have psychological benefits, with the ability to improve both mood and sleep patterns. Studies have shown that PEMF can enhance mental health for patients dealing with depression and anxiety due to pain, as shown in a 2019 study on patients with cervical disc herniation.
Types of Conditions Treatable by PEMF Therapy
Lots of different conditions can benefit from PEMF therapy, including fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, joint pain, and arthritis. PEMF has been tested on many acute and chronic conditions, like low back pain and osteoarthritis. A recent study published in the Pacific Journal of Medical Science focused on PEMF therapy’s impact on low back pain.4 It tested the therapy on 42 university employees ages 35 to 55, and found that those who received it reported significant improvement.
A review published earlier this year analyzed the results of 16 different studies on the effects of PEMF as treatment for patients with osteoarthritis, finding that it reduced pain and stiffness and increased physical function.5Whatever the cause of your chronic or acute pain, PEMF therapy may be an effective way of treating it.
1 Robert Dennis – Why so much confusion about PEMF?
2 Thomas J. Goodwin, Ph.D. – PHYSIOLOGICAL AND MOLECULAR GENETIC EFFECTS OF TIME VARYING ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS ON HUMAN NEURONAL CELLS
3 Hattapoğlu E et al – Efficiency of pulsed electromagnetic fields on pain, disability, anxiety, depression, and quality of life in patients with cervical disc herniation: a randomized controlled study
4 Abdelhalim NM et al – Short-Term impacts of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy in middle-aged university’s employees with non-specific low back pain: A pilot study.
5 Yang X et al – Effects of Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy on Pain, Stiffness, Physical Function, and Quality of Life in Patients With Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trials