Pulsed Electromagnetic Therapy (PEMF)
What is PEMF?
PEMF stands for Pulsed Electro Magnetic Field therapy; using this particular process involves directing powerful, pulsed energy waves toward damaged or injured areas of the patient’s body. These waves painlessly and quickly pass through the cells in the damaged region, increasing the spin of the electrons contained within them as a result.
It is this amplified electron spinning which restores the cell’s potential (its energy), regulating its volume at the same time. And, unlike some other forms of CAM, this positive cellular effect lasts for as many as four days after the treatment session has ended. With that, PEMF therapy is: The induction of electricity into the cells to help stimulate or promote healing.
How PEMF works
Perhaps the easiest way to understand PEMF is to think in terms of each cell in your body as if it were a little battery. Like with any battery, sometimes your cells become tired and worn, whether due to age, stress, overuse, or damage, making it more difficult for them to fight off any type of potentially damaging force or illness.
Through PEMF therapy, your batteries (i.e. your cells) essentially become recharged. The energy supplied via PEMF waves gives them the energy they need to ward off whatever is threatening them, whether it’s a trauma or disease-based threat. This makes it easier for your body to restore its health naturally, simply by using the electrical currents and impulses that are already interacting within and throughout their cells. In essence, high-powered PEMF is like a “battery re-charger” for your depleted cells.
Conditions clinical PEMF helps treat
Some treatment devices offer relief limited in nature. Take dental braces, for instance. These are devices designed for one reason and one reason only: to align and straighten your teeth, thereby improving the health of your mouth. To apply them anywhere else on your body would serve no beneficial purpose whatsoever (not to mention, probably look more than a little foolish).
The same is true with foot orthotics. They were created to correct foot and leg defects due to trauma or disease, or any type of issue that occurs as a result of bio mechanical inadequacies. However, if you wear them on your hands, this would do you absolutely no good.
Head and Neck
The American Osteopathic Association reports neck pain is the third most common chronic pain, afflicting more than one in four Americans at any given time.1
Fortunately, PEMF can often help with issues in this area of the body. Case in point: one study in Rheumatology International found that subjects with cervical osteoarthritis had pain levels, which “decreased significantly” after PEMF. 2
Study participants also reported improvements in disability and range of motion, especially when compared to a control group who received sham PEMF treatments.
PEMF also helps treat numerous back-related issues, even if they occur post-surgery. In fact, one study in Current Orthopaedic Practice found that PEMF prompted increased bone formation for 85 percent of the participants, all of whom endured failed posterior lumbar inter body fusion. 3
Seventy-seven percent achieved body-to-body fusion after being treated with PEMF. The researchers involved in this study also pointed out that PEMF “required no hospitalization, reduced morbidity, and avoided the risks associated with surgical intervention”—three more reasons why this remedy is a preferred treatment choice.
When it comes to joints, arthritis is often one of the biggest concerns. However, PEMF helps not only with arthritic symptoms, but also potentially the cause as one piece of research in the Indian Journal of Experimental Biology found that “the use of PEMF for arthritis cure has conclusively shown that PEMF not only alleviates the pain in the arthritis condition but it also affords chondroprotection, exerts anti-inflammatory action and helps in bone remodeling.” 4
As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Chronic Body Conditions
PEMF is even helpful when it comes to chronic conditions that affect your entire body.
For instance, one study published in Pain Research and Management found that, after seven days of twice-daily PEMF treatments, participants who struggled with fibromyalgia responded positively to the pulsed electromagnetic therapy, reporting less pain after treatment sessions. 5
Another study, this one in Chinese Medical Journal, concluded that “low frequency PEMFs relieves the pain of primary osteoporosis quickly and efficiently, enhances bone formation and increases BMD [bone mineral density] of secondary osteoporosis.” 6
PEMF has also shown positive effects with Alzheimer’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s, cancer, heart disease, depression, diabetes, endometriosis, epilepsy, headaches, glaucoma, hepatitis, kidney problems, lung disease, lupus, multiple sclerosis, pancreatitis, Parkinson’s, sexual disorders, sleep disorders, spinal cord injury, stroke, Tourette’s, ulcers, urinary problems, and more.
If you are interested in how PEMF can aid in your recovery, contact Good Hands Physical Therapy today.