PEMF: Brakthrough in Pain Management

PEMF: Breakthrough in Pain Management

Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy is an emerging therapy that has lots of support from the medical and science communities.  It’s known to promote tissue healing and has been used for a long time to help knit bones together in stubborn breaks.  Recently, they’ve been adapted for other therapies.  They were featured on Dr. Oz recently, so I did some of my own research that I put together for you here:

Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields: What are they?
Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) devices create resonating electromagnetic force fields that can act on the body’s cells to promote healing and pain relief

What are they good for?
PEMF devices are used to promote healing.  They’ve been shown to work for helping broken bones fuse back together, and also to reduce pain, swelling and edema (fluid buildup and pressure) for soft-tissue damage, such as post-surgery damage.
A 1995 study showed the following benefits:

  • Decreased pain
  • Increased range of motion
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Reduced muscle loss after surgery
  • Faster functional recovery
  • Faster healing of skin wounds
  • Enhanced capillary formation

How do they work?
PEMF devices increase the production of nitric oxide in the affected area.  This increases blood flow and reduces inflammation where the device is aimed.  Increased blood flow and reduced inflammation combine to promote healing much faster than the body can do on its own.

Are they safe?
PEMF is not known to have any side effects whatsoever.  Your doctor may not know about PEMF therapy, because they are not required to learn about PEMF in medical school.
Your doctor may also hesitate to recommend PEMF because they associate “magnet medicine” with quackery like magnetic shoe inserts.  However, several PEMF devices are FDA approved to treat post-operative pain and to help heal badly broken bones.  PEMF may also help with more day-to-day pain like arthritis, low back pain, and chronic joint pain.  In Canada, there is an over-the-counter device approved for exactly those uses.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask me!

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