Pain Relief Blog
Are you aware that PEMF is now used in mainstream medicine? Some breakthrough clinical studies to validate the technology.
Author: Dr. Faisal Hayat, MBBS
What is PEMF therapy?
Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy is a pulsed electromagnetic frequency delivered through a non-invasive device. Electrical energy directs a series of very low-frequency magnetic pulses through injured body tissues. It is based on Faraday’s Law of electromagnetism.
Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy is an electromagnetic process that is not associated with currents but with magnetic fields.
Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy combines frequency, intensity, and duration to alter cellular function and restore the cells to normal rhythms. These electromagnetic fields target the body at a cellular level without producing heat or interfering with nerve or muscle function.
Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy is a bio-magnetic technology. It is related to the biophysical interactions that allow electromagnetic frequency signals to be recognized by cells. It increases the perfusion at a cellular level where more blood is pushed towards the injured site. Increased blood supply accompanies high oxygen delivery to the site of injury and relieves pain, swelling, and inflammation.
Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy primarily uses frequencies in a range of 1 to 100 Hz at very low intensities of micro-Tesla. It may last 30 minutes to several hours a day and maybe directed at specific parts or to the entire body.
Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) devices are usually applied directly to the targeted area of the body, thereby directly treating the problem’s source, not its manifestation. The low-frequency electromagnetic fields don’t have ionizing or thermal effects.
Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy is non-invasive, non-thermal, and entirely safe for use. It has not shown any severe or adverse effects in clinical trials.
Clinical Uses of PEMF therapy
The potential clinical uses of pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy are extensive.
1) Non-specific low back pain (NLBP)
- A study published in 2019, was aimed to evaluate the short-term impacts of Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy in treating non-specific low back pain symptoms such as pain, back mobility, low back pain disabilities, and Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL). In this study, forty-two University employees aged 35 to 55 years with non-specific low back pain participated. The authors concluded that PEMF therapy might decrease pain, low back pain disability, increase lumbar spine mobility, and improve Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) in employees with nonspecific LBP. 
2) Chronic non-specific low back pain
- A clinical trial, published in 2019, was conducted to investigate the effects of pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy compared to conventional non-invasive treatment modalities in patients with chronic non-specific low back pain. Fifty participants were randomized having chronic non-specific low back pain. The study’s findings showed that adding a pulsed electromagnetic field to conventional physical therapy protocol yields superior clinical improvement in pain, functional disability, and lumbar range of motion in patients with non-specific low back pain than conventional physical therapy alone.
3) Low back pain with radiculopathy
- A randomized clinical study was designed to evaluate the effects of pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy in managing patients with discogenic lumbar radiculopathy. Forty patients with lumbar disc prolapse were randomly assigned. PEMF therapy has been found to relieve low back pain in these patients.
4) Chronic Pelvic Pain
- According to a case report published in 2019, a 29-year-old female with chronic pelvic pain for more than ten years and other symptoms was introduced with a pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) device. The patient reported significant and continuous relief of many of her pelvic pain-related symptoms. Most notably, she reported experiencing reductions in pelvic pain and improvements in her energy level and her ability to participate in regular physical exercise. The patient reported no apparent side effects to this therapy.
5) Diabetic neuropathy
- A clinical trial was conducted in 2015, to show the efficacy of Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy for patients with diabetic neuropathy. A total of 15 adults aged 41 to 79 were enrolled. The clinical trial has shown a significant improvement in sensory loss and in pain. No complications or adverse effects were reported.
6) Fibromyalgia and chronic musculoskeletal pain
- A randomized, double-blind clinical trial was conducted to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy for women with fibromyalgia (FM). Fifty-six women with fibromyalgia (FM), aged 18 to 60 years, were randomly assigned to use Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) or sham therapy. The PEMF group showed significant improvements in fibromyalgia.
7) Non-union fractures
- Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy has been shown to speed the healing process of cervical spine surgical fusions. In a case report by Mackenzie and Veninga et al., a patient with a C6-C7 nonunion used a Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) stimulation device for at least 3 hours per day and a period of 10 months. And just after three months of treatment, the patient’s symptoms were resolved. After 15 weeks of treatment, X-rays of the cervical spine were obtained. These X-rays have shown improvement in bone fusion.
8) Cancer management
- The potential of ultra-low intensity and frequency pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs) to kill breast cancer cells was investigated. The author concluded that pulsed electromagnetic fields-based anticancer strategies might represent a new therapeutic approach to treat breast cancer without affecting normal tissues in a manner that is non-invasive and can be potentially combined with existing anti-cancer treatments. 
- Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy has been found to provide good improvement in patients with osteoarthritis. A meta-analysis by Vavken et al. was conducted to assess the effectiveness of pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) therapy compared with placebo in managing osteoarthritis of the knee joint. Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy improved clinical scores and function in patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee in 9 studies, including 483 patients. The authors concluded that pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) therapy should be considered as adjuvant therapy in managing osteoarthritis of the knee joint. 
10) Anxiety, panic, and post-traumatic stress disorders
- An article published in 2019 summarises the clinical studies on both animals and human beings, showing the beneficial effects of pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) therapy on anxiety, panic, and post-traumatic stress disorders. 
11) Parkinson’s disease
- A randomized clinical trial, published in 2018, was designed to see the effect of transcranial pulsed electromagnetic fields (T-PEMF) on the functional rate of force development and movement speed in persons with Parkinson’s disease. In this clinical study, ninety-seven persons with Parkinson’s disease were randomized. The authors concluded that treatment with transcranial pulsed electromagnetic fields (T-PEMF) was superior to placebo. They suggested that mildly affected persons with Parkinson’s disease have a more significant potential for neural rehabilitation than more severely affected persons, and early treatment initiation may be beneficial.
DcCure Clinically Proven and FDA Listed PEMF Device
DcCure is an FDA Class 1 listed, safe, affordable, and convenient to use pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapeutic device. It has proven its safety and efficacy in relieving non-specific low back pain (LBP) in a clinical trial.
- A Randomized Controlled clinical trial was conducted in 2019 by Anthony J Lisi et al. It was published with the title “A Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy Device for Non-Specific Low Back Pain.” The PEMF device used in the trial was “MDcure, Aerotel Ltd., Holon, Israel, and Aerotel Inc. USA, New York, NY, USA.” The authors concluded that the device is safe and provides preliminary evidence of effectiveness in improving function in patients experiencing non-specific low back pain. No adverse or severe effects were seen in the trial.
The pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy and devices are approved by FDA to be clinically used for broken bones fusion, reduce tissue and joint pain, and support muscle function. PEMF therapy has several advantages in treating different clinical manifestations as relief of pain, accelerated wound healing, edema resolution, inflammation therapy, and osteoarthritis.
Clinical trials have proved the effectiveness and safety of PEMF therapy in patients with Parkinson’s disease, anxiety, panic, post-traumatic stress disorders, cancers, and diabetic neuropathy.
PEMF devices are safe, effective, non-invasive, low-cost, and easy to administer in different manifestations. These are most convenient to use and have long-lasting benefits. PEMF therapy spares the patient from going through several rounds of pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment and invasive procedures. And PEMF therapy improves the patients’ quality of life.
- Dr. Garry F. Gordon, The Science of PEMF, Gordon Research Institute, October 27, 2012, The Woodland of Van Buren Wayne, Michigan.
- Abdelhalim NM, Samhan AF, AbdelbassetWK. Short-Term impacts of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy in middle-aged university employees with non-specific low back pain: A pilot study. Pak J Med Sci. 2019;35(4):987-991.
- Elshiwi AM, Hamada HA, Mosaad D, Ragab IMA, Koura GM, Alrawaili SM. A randomized controlled trial, a pulsed electromagnetic field on nonspecific low back pain patients. Braz J Phys Ther. 2019;23(3):244-249. doi:10.1016/j.bjpt.2018.08.004
- Omar AS, AwadallaMA, El-Latif MA. Evaluation of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy in the management of patients with discogenic lumbar radiculopathy. Int J Rheum Dis. 2012;15(5):e101-108.
- Overholt, T. L., Ross, C., Evans, R. J., & Walker, S. J. (2019). Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy as a Complementary Alternative for Chronic Pelvic Pain Management in an Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome Patient. Case reports in urology, 2019.
- Shealy, C. Norman. “Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy with Mark II Coil for Diabetic Neuropathy.” Anti-Aging Therapeutics Volume XVII (2015): 18.
- S. T. Sutbeyaz, N. Sezer, F. Koseoglu, and S. Kibar, “Low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic field therapy in Fibromyalgia,” The Clinical Journal of Pain, vol. 25, no. 8, pp. 722–728, 2009.
- Mackenzie,D, Francis DV. Reversal of delayed union of anterior cervical fusion treated with pulsed electromagnetic field stimulation: case report. South Med J. 2004;97(5):519-524.
- Crocetti S, Beyer C, Schade G, Egli M, Fröhlich J, Franco-Obregón A. Low intensity and frequency pulsed electromagnetic fields selectively impair breast cancer cell viability. PLoS One. 2013;8(9):e72944.
- Vavken P, Arrich F, Schuhfried O, Dorotka R. Effectiveness of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy in the management of osteoarthritis of the knee: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Rehabil Med. 2009;41(6):406-411.
- Pawluk, W. “Pulsed Magnetic Field Treatment of Anxiety, Panic and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders.” J Altern Complement Integr Med 5 (2019): 075.
- Morberg, Bo Mohr, et al. “Effect of transcranial pulsed electromagnetic fields (T-PEMF) on functional rate of force development and movement speed in persons with Parkinson’s disease: A randomized clinical trial.” (2018).
- Lisi, A. J., Scheinowitz, M., Saporito, R., &Onorato, A. (2019). A Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy Device for Non-Specific Low Back Pain: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. Pain and Therapy, 8(1), 133–140.