Bone Stimulator Review

Each year, nearly eight million people in the U.S. experience some type of bone fracture.

These can include everything from simple fingers and toes to major and complicated breaks to legs, arms, and spines.

For many reasons, not all of these fractures will heal properly or in a timely manner.

Nearly half a million people will also undergo some type of spinal fusion surgery each year.

However, not all of these procedures result in a successful fusion of bones in the spine.

New technology and medical advances are helping fracture and spinal fusion patients heal more thoroughly and quickly, yielding improved results for many patients.

Those who are most at risk of an improperly healed fracture are especially fortunate to have access today to technology and therapies that help bones heal more effectively.

There are many devices marketed today for the purpose of assisting with bone fractures and other types of bone damage.

We share with you the benefits of these devices, how they work to heal bones from the inside out and information on one of the leading types of bone stimulation devices.

If you have a bone fracture, have undergone spinal fusion surgery, or care from someone who has, you should learn more about the many health benefits of a bone stimulation device and how one may be right for you.

When Bones Won’t Heal

Up to ten percent of fractures experienced every year result in what doctors call a delayed union or a non-union.

A non-union simply means that the fracture repair process has stopped before the bone is fully healed. S

ome refer to this as delayed union, when the bone has not recovered within six months of the injury.

While some very complicated fractures, such as a distal radial fracture, can take many months to heal, most fractures heal much more quickly than this time period.

What causes a fracture to result in a delayed or non-union?

It varies widely by patient, but many fractures that won’t heal properly are the result of poor blood supply, inadequate stabilization during the healing process or even infection.

In addition to treating infection and maintaining proper stabilization, the most important thing you can do to ensure that a fracture heals properly, is to stimulate the blood supply to the area, as well as help the cells carry out their natural healing processes.

Over the past two decades, physicians and physical therapists have increasingly turned to new technology, known as pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, to treat fractures and ensure proper healing of damaged bones.

This type of treatment is a non-invasive therapy that works at the molecular, cellular and tissue level to stimulate cells, rejuvenate blood supply, and encourage the proper healing of fractures.

How does this type of treatment work?

What is PEMF Therapy?

Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, also known as PEMF therapy, uses bursts of low-level electromagnetic energy to treat all types of conditions, including damaged bones and tissues.

Pulses of electromagnetic energy, delivered at low frequencies, pass without pain through your skin and deeply penetrate the underlying tissues, including bone, tendons and muscles.

The electromagnetic energy delivered by these tools encourages and restores the natural energy levels of your body’s cells, allowing them to work more effectively to heal injuries.

The electromagnetic fields delivered by PEMF devices mimic those encountered in nature.

They use frequencies and amplitudes in very low ranges delivered in short pulses for brief periods.

At these levels, the energy fields are helpful and therapeutic.

All cells have a natural electrical charge that allows them to function correctly.

When your cells are damaged due to injury or illness, the inherent electrical charges decrease.

Your cells are operating at less-than-full capacity during this time.

PEMF therapy introduces a low-level electromagnetic field into your body, which restores your cells’ natural charges and revitalizes them, so they can restore their full function.

When cells are at a normal charge, they are more likely to replicate, differentiate based on the body’s needs, oxygenate at proper levels and perform normal functions.

Therefore, introducing this type of charge, using PEMF devices, is one way to heal damaged tissue, such as from a fracture or after a spinal fusion procedure.

PEMF devices work by applying paddles, rings, pads or mats to your body, in areas where injury has occurred.

Electromagnetic pulses are delivered in short sessions, usually 20-30 minutes at a time, over the course of several weeks or months.

PEMF therapy used to be given exclusively in doctor’s offices or physical therapy clinics, but now, there are more options for using PEMF treatments at home.


Research on PEMF and Bone Damage

PEMF therapy has been studied extensively for use in treating delayed union and non-union fractures.

This technology has been applied since the late 1980s, and our understanding of its use and efficacy has grown significantly since that time.

As early as 1990, researchers noted the PEMF was statistically significantly better at healing fractures than traditional treatments, with more than three times as many patients seeing a full union to their fractures after treatment with PEMF (1).

Additional research in 2007 (2) and 2012 (3) confirm these results, indicating that the use of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy in the treatment of delayed and non-union fractures results in better outcomes for more patients.

There are many more research studies that provide similar results, which is why the FDA now approves the use of PEMF therapy in the treatment of many different types of fractures, especially those at high risk for a delayed union or non-union.


At-Home Bone Stimulation Devices

Some who have experienced a bone fracture or who have had spinal fusion surgery have difficulty healing.

Non-union and delayed union fractures, as well as delayed healing after fusion, occur when the immune system is already compromised or when your natural healing process is impaired for other reasons.

Those with other medical conditions, such as diabetes or arthritis, may also have a reduced ability to heal bone fractures.

If you have a fracture or have undergone spinal fusion surgery, your doctor may recommend PEMF therapy to aid in your healing.

There are several products that are now available for at-home use for bone stimulation.

Bone stimulation devices use PEMF technology to deliver bone growth therapy to patients who are healing bones after fracture or surgery.

Bone stimulation devices are now available for at-home use through several different companies, including Orthofix, a leading manufacturer of this type of PEMF device.

Orthofix offers several different Bone Growth Therapy devices to be used as a non-invasive, safe treatment for bone fractures and after spinal fusion therapy.

Those who are experiencing difficulty healing bone damage may wish to talk with their doctor about these devices, as a part of their treatment plans.

The PEMF devices offered from Orthofix use low-level electromagnetic fields to activate the body’s natural healing processes, helping to repair fractures and heal fusion sites more effectively.

This type of therapy has been shown to influence the healing process at the molecular, cellular and even tissue level, activating the signaling pathways that promote bone growth and healing.

All of the Orthofix products use similar design and technology, housing an electromagnetic coil in a plastic case, which is attached to a wearable brace.

This is designed to be worn over the fracture or fusion site.

These devices can be worn over and used on top of other braces, casts and clothing.

The electromagnetic fields can penetrate through these layers to reach into the tissues, cells and even molecules that are healing.


How Bone Stimulation Devices Heal

Pulsed electromagnetic fields have been shown to have an impact at the molecular level.

By exposing the osteoblasts, which are the bone-forming cells of your body, the pulses generate an electric field gradient across the cell membrane of each damaged cell (4).

This field creates an immediate intracellular response, signaling pathways to the damaged area similar to those created by natural growth factors in the body (5).

When activated, these signaling pathways stimulate cell growth, proliferation and differentiation.

At the cellular level, PEMF treatment causes the genes responsible for cellular proliferation, differentiation and mineralization to express themselves (6).

Repeated treatment with PEMF creates new intracellular pathways, thus increasing its effectiveness with every use (7).

In clinical animal trials, PEMF has been shown to improve the bone volume and quality of tissue in damaged bones (8), with evidence to suggest that PEMF helps preserve more bone tissue in healed fractures than without (9).


The Orthofix Bone Stimulation Devices

Regardless of where you are in need of bone healing, there is a bone stimulation device that can be used to treat your problem.

There are devices designed to be used specifically for spinal fusion patients as well as devices that can be used to treat all types of injuries on the extremities and in the neck.

Talk with your doctor or physical therapist about which type of bone stimulation device is the best for your needs.


Orthofix SpinalStim Device

If you have had spinal fusion surgery and are in need of assistance in healing, the SpinalStim device may be a good option for you.

This PEMF device is designed to be used by spinal fusion patients to increase the probability of fusion success.

It also is indicated for use, when spinal fusion has failed.

If you had spinal fusion surgery more than nine months ago but have a failed fusion site, the SpinalStim is explicitly designed to help you.

Orthofix’s single-piece device is flexible and lightweight, allowing you to move freely, even during treatment.

The device includes an LCD screen and alarm, which tell you important information about your treatment status, and the device’s placement allows for 360-degree treatment coverage around your fusion site.

Those who meet the criteria for its use, experience a high clinical success rate, and the device is designed to provide coverage of up to five levels of vertebrae.

Orthofix CervicalStim Device

For those who need support in healing from cervical fusion surgery, the design of the CervicalStim by Orthofix is an option.

This device is recommended for those at high risk of non-fusion after surgery.

The design of this device allows it to be worn comfortably during treatment, holding the device in place in the appropriate area for cervical healing.

As with the SpinalStim device, the CervicalStim device is also a single-piece design.

You wear the device around your neck, and because it is cordless and lightweight, you can wear it while engaging in other activities.

The alarm and LCD display will alert you to your status and treatment time remaining.

Your cervical fusion site will receive 360-degree treatment.

This device also has a high clinical success rate in treating cervical fusion sites.


Orthofix PhysioStim Device

If you have suffered a fracture that is not healing properly, then Orthofix’s PhysioStim could help you heal your non-union fracture.

This device is small, allowing it to be used in a variety of situations and applications.

The PhysioStim device can be used to treat non-union fractures in the arm, wrist, hand, shoulder, clavicle, hip, lower leg, ankle, foot or thigh.

Orthofix offers many fabric enclosures that make wearing the PhysioStim easy, regardless of the location of your injury.

You can wear the device over clothing, casts or other bracing, and the design allows for freedom of movement, making treatment easy.

You will still get 360-degree treatment around your fracture site with the PhysioStim device, and because it is easy to use and place, you will receive consistent treatment around your injury site.

All of Orthofix’s products sold in the U.S. are compatible with their STIM onTrack™ Mobile App.

Patients can use this mobile phone application to set daily reminders, keeping their treatment on schedule.

Users can monitor their progress and share treatment data with their physicians.

Patients can also read more about PEMF technology using the educational resources provided.

Staying on track with treatment is easier than ever, with this type of technology, and these devices, that utilize mobile app technology, increase their success rate remarkably.



The use of PEMF therapy has not been approved for use by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Those with a pacemaker device should not use PEMF therapy, since the electrical signals can interfere with your pace making device.

PEMF has not been evaluated for use by those whose skeletal tissue hasn’t reached full maturity.

PEMF is deemed effective and recommended for use with non-union fractures and has not been recommended in instances, where a secondary pathological condition is present.

As with all types of electromagnetic stimulation therapy, bone stimulation should only be used for a limited time, since the effectiveness will eventually cease.

Your doctor will be able to tell you if your injury or situation best fits the indications of bone stimulation therapy.

Bone stimulation devices and other forms of PEMF therapy have not been studied for long-term use.

You should not use this or any other type of electromagnetic stimulation device longer than your doctor prescribes.


The Cost of Bone Stimulation Devices

Orthofix and other providers of at-home PEMF devices work directly with insurance providers to bill for their products.

If your doctor prescribes the use of PEMF therapy to treat your fracture or spinal fusion site, payment for the device by your insurance company will be dependent on your doctor’s diagnosis and your insurance company’s rules regarding benefits.

Please talk with your insurance company and physician about coverage for your Orthofix or other PEMF at-home device.


Other Benefits of PEMF


While treating bone fractures is one of the most studied and effective ways to use PEMF therapy to treat the body, there are many other benefits to using pulsed electromagnetic fields.

Because we know the effectiveness of electromagnetic fields on molecules, cells and tissues, researchers are constantly exploring new applications for this type of therapy.

PEMF has been recommended for use in treating a number of other health problems and disorders, including inflammation, damage to soft tissue, headaches and damage to nerve cells.


Improved Blood Flow

The use of PEMF therapy has been shown to improve blood flow, which can have a significant impact on the healing of damaged or inflamed tissue.

PEMF therapy was shown to increase the diameter of arteriolar micro-vessels, leading to improved vasodilation in animal trials (10).

Increased blood flow is a positive outcome when treating sprains, strains and other soft tissue damage, as well as when treating organ disorders and other types of pathologies.

PEMF improves overall blood circulation.


Faster Cell Regeneration

In addition to repairing fractures, PEMF has been shown to have a positive impact on overall wound healing, due to its ability to improve the rate of cellular regeneration.

Those with soft tissue damage, including those recovering from surgery, could see faster recovery times using PEMF.

PEMF has been shown to have positive effects on tissue regeneration (11).

This is excellent news for post-operative patients, since cell regeneration could mean less time in the hospital and a faster recovery.


Nerve Repair

The same processes that help heal bones and soft tissues in the body, can also work to repair damaged nerve cells.

Nerve cells are notoriously resistant to other types of therapies, so it is fortunate that PEMF therapy has been shown to positively stimulate nerve cells and improve their function.

Early research into PEMF technology showed that, when applied to the sciatic nerves, this type of therapy can improve nerve damage symptoms and reduce sciatic nerve pain (12).


Improved Range of Motion

Patients who suffer from a decreased range of motion, whether from joint issues, bone damage, tendinitis or other disorders, can also enjoy the benefits of PEMF therapy.

Research conducted in 1996, showed that patients who received PEMF saw an improved range of motion and a reduction in other symptoms associated with cervical osteoarthritis (13).

Patients also experienced a decline in pain.

PEMF could be used to treat many joint and tissue disorders that cause pain and reduced movement.


PEMF’s Many Additional Benefits

The stimulation provided by pulsed electromagnetic field therapy has been shown to have a positive impact on many aspects of both physical and mental health.

Early research indicates that PEMF could be used to treat many different types of disorders, including arthritis, depression, diabetes, migraine headaches, and some types of sleep disorders.

PEMF may even slow down the aging process and help enhance athletic performance and endurance over time.

Current research is underway to determine the efficacy of PEMF therapy on everything from osteoporosis to skin lesions from Parkinson’s disease to low back pain.

As the power of electromagnetic pulsed field therapy is revealed, researchers and doctors ask new questions and engage in new research to determine the full potential of this therapeutic tool.

As we learn more about the advantages and effects of PEMF therapy on the human body, we will likely discover even more positive influences.


Final Thoughts

The use of PEMF and other types of electromagnetic therapies has increased, as our understanding has grown of how these energies influence human cells.

Pulsed electromagnetic fields are non-invasive, safe and effective therapies for treating hard-to-heal fractures and resistant spinal fusion sites.

The introduction of at-home devices that can be used regularly by those with fractures and spinal fusions, means that more people can enjoy better healing and a faster recovery.

Wearable and portable devices, such as the Orthofix line of models, allows you to receive targeted, regular PEMF treatment, while also still living your life and meeting your daily commitments.

Those patients who use PEMF therapy are more likely to have a fully-healed fracture or spinal fusion those who do not, and it has never been easier to receive the regular, sustained PEMF treatment necessary for this type of therapeutic success.