PEMF therapy for Pain Management

PEMF therapy or Pulsed Electromagnetic Field therapy for pain relief and pain management has been under research and development  from more than five decades. Since ancient times, magnetic therapy has been applied by civilizations from eastern Europe and the far east for a variety of issues.

An older couple enjoying a glass of wine, and crediting them not having any more pain to the Pulsed Electromagnetic Field therapy from FlexPulse. It is the world's most powerful wearable PEMF device.

PEMF therapy for pain improves the results experienced when using static magnets. While static magnets have been proven to benefit abdominal and genital pain, it can take years1 for results to manifest. With PEMF therapy for pain, results can be seen much, much faster. Imagine the great efficacy of PEMF therapy for pain as we now know that treating ulcers2 with PEMF therapy is now a viable alternative to chemotherapy.

Why PEMF therapy for pain works well

Pain is a huge topic and can be caused due to a large variety of issues that affect both, neurology and physiology. The reason PEMF therapy works well for pain relief and pain management is that it does not just provide symptomatic pain relief, but aims to resolve the issue causing the pain. Almost every disease condition is due to mitochondrial dysfunction3. Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy when utilized effectively, improves the cellular energy. PEMF Therapy reduces pain in a wide variety of painful conditions.

In a March 2003 publication titled, “Pain Management with PEMF Treatment“, Dr. William Pawluk explained,

“Magnetic fields affect pain perception in many different ways. These actions are both direct and indirect. Direct effects of magnetic fields are: neuron firing, calcium ion movement, membrane potentials, endorphin levels, nitric oxide, dopamine levels, acupuncture actions and nerve regeneration. Indirect benefits of magnetic fields on physiologic function are on: circulation, muscle, edema, tissue oxygen, inflammation, healing, prostaglandins, cellular metabolism and cell energy levels… Short-term effects are thought due to a decrease in cortisol and noradrenaline, and an increase in serotonin, endorphins and enkephalins. Longer term effects may be due to central nervous system’s and/or peripheral nervous system’s biochemical and neuronal effects in which correction of pain messages occur; and the pain is not just masked as in the case of medication”.

PEMF therapy reduces inflammation

Pain is affected by inflammation and many reasons cause inflammation such as tissue damage,  poor circulation, surgery, etc. Tissue cells like all cells operate on cellular energy derived from mitochondria. When a cell is debilitated, it’s electromagnetic activity is reduced and normal cellular functions as well as their self-repair mechanisms are negatively impacted resulting in inflammation and eventually pain.
Numerous clinical studies have demonstrated that PEMF therapy has been successful in reducing inflammation. PEMF therapy treats the cellular source of swelling by recharging the cells with pulsed electromagnetic fields. This stops the release of pain and inflammatory mediators, reduces inflammatory fluids and allows an increase in blood flow, therefore increased oxygen intake, to help the cells heal faster with less swelling, pain and bruising.
PEMF therapy has been proven to be effective in managing pain and inflammation due to post operative pain4, diabetic neuropathy5, fibromyalgia6,  lumbar disc prolapse7, damaged cartilages8, neck pain9, arthritis10 and indeed many more conditions.
The reason PEMF works for pain and inflammation as described earlier is simple and the best part is that it can be used to combat chronic pain causing conditions, ageing and genetic issues quite effectively.
Holcomb R, Worthington W, McCullough B, McLean M. Static magnetic field therapy for pain in the abdomen and genitals. Pediatr Neurol. 2000;23(3):261-264. [PubMed]
Guerriero F, Botarelli E, Mele G, et al. Effectiveness of an Innovative Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields Stimulation in Healing of Untreatable Skin Ulcers in the Frail Elderly: Two Case Reports. Case Rep Dermatol Med. 2015;2015:576580. [PMC]
Nicolson G. Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Chronic Disease: Treatment With Natural Supplements. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2014;13(4):35-43. [PMC]
Sorrell R, Muhlenfeld J, Moffett J, Stevens G, Kesten S. Evaluation of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy for the treatment of chronic postoperative pain following lumbar surgery: a pilot, double-blind, randomized, sham-controlled clinical trial. J Pain Res. 2018;11:1209-1222. [PMC]
Onesti E, Gabriele M, Cambieri C, et al. H-coil repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation for pain relief in patients with diabetic neuropathy. Eur J Pain. 2013;17(9):1347-1356. [PubMed]
Lee S, Kim D, Chun M, Kim Y. The effect of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on fibromyalgia: a randomized sham-controlled trial with 1-mo follow-up. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2012;91(12):1077-1085. [PubMed]
Omar A, Awadalla M, El-Latif M. Evaluation of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy in the management of patients with discogenic lumbar radiculopathy. Int J Rheum Dis. 2012;15(5):e101-8. [PubMed]
Varani K, Vincenzi F, Ravani A, et al. Adenosine Receptors as a Biological Pathway for the Anti-Inflammatory and Beneficial Effects of Low Frequency Low Energy Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields. Mediators Inflamm. 2017;2017:2740963. [PMC]
Forestier R, Françon A, Saint-Arromand F, et al. [Are SPA therapy and pulsed electromagnetic field therapy effective for chronic neck pain? Randomised clinical trial First part: clinical evaluation]. Ann Readapt Med Phys. 2007;50(3):140-147. [PubMed]
Shupak N, McKay J, Nielson W, Rollman G, Prato F, Thomas A. Exposure to a specific pulsed low-frequency magnetic field: A double-blind placebo-controlled study of effects on pain ratings in rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia patients. Pain Res Manag. 2006;11(2):85-90. [PMC]

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A book written by William Pawluk, Md, Msc, titled "Rational And Science Behind The Flex Pulse Programs"