If you are looking for a way to treat arthritis successfully in a non-invasive way and without risking serious side effects, PEMF is a solution that will interest you.
We’ll explain how PEMF can be used to treat arthritis, alleviate symptoms, and improve the overall quality of life of those unlucky enough to suffer from this persistent chronic disease.
Numerous studies have been done on this issue, and have confirmed the beneficial effects that PEMF has on the symptoms of arthritis.
Apart from that, PEMF can help with numerous other common diseases, which we will cover shortly as well.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis can be simply defined as an inflammation of the joints, which can affect one or more joints in our body.
There are numerous types of arthritis (more than 100), which differ in causes, severity, and treatment.
However, the most common types today are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Usually arthritis develops slowly, over a long period, and it is a chronic disease.
However, sometimes it can appear suddenly as well.
It is most often diagnosed among the older population (over 65 years of age) but it can sometimes be seen in younger people, and even children.
Other risk groups are overweight people, and women, who are more likely than men to get arthritis.
The Symptoms of Arthritis
The most common symptoms are pain, swelling, and stiffness in the affected joint.
Because of this, the range of motion in the joint is decreased, and redness of the skin in that area can appear.
These symptoms are usually worse in the morning, and become milder as the day goes by.
However, the symptoms are not limited only to the joints.
Patients also experience loss of appetite and fatigue because of the inflammation process.
Anemia and high fever are also common symptoms.
In extreme cases, when it is not treated, rheumatoid arthritis can cause deformed joints.
The Cause of Arthritis
Our joints contain a flexible connective tissue called cartilage which serves to protect them by absorbing pressure and shock during various activities.
Arthritis occurs when cartilage decreases in amount or in quality.
Osteoarthritis is caused by the normal micro-injuries to the cartilage which can be exacerbated by an infection or a more serious injury.
Genetic predisposition also increases your chances of getting osteoarthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune illness.
In this type, our immune system attacks the synovium, which produces a fluid that lubricates our joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis can eventually completely destroy both the joint and the adjacent bones. Its cause is still unknown.
Treatment of Arthritis
The main goal of treatment is to alleviate pain and prevent further deterioration of the joint.
Most common treatments to achieve this goal are medication, physical therapy, and surgery.
In the early stages of arthritis, light physical activity also helps.
Some people find that heating pads or ice help them with pain, stiffness, and range of motion issues.
However, PEMF is proving to be a powerful treatment as well, as we will see soon.
PEMF Therapy and Arthritis
The effects of PEMF on different types of arthritis have been the focus of numerous studies.
The results of each of these studies are clear – PEMF can greatly improve the symptoms of arthritis, and in some cases eliminate them completely.
The majority of these studies have shown that the most beneficial intensities for treating arthritis are between 15 and 30 Gauss, while the best frequency to use is 75 Hz.
The results of these studies were increased cell growth in the joint, and increased extracellular matrix (ECM).
This, in turn, reduced inflammation, as well as increased joint capsule cells.
The general conclusions of most of these studies in regard to arthritis are:
- Greater cartilage thickness.
- Decreased evidence of cartilage degeneration and damage.
- Bone thickness reduced under the affected joint capsule.
- Fewer inflammatory markers.
- Intact cell integrity and appearance.
- Fewer cartilage surface irregularities.
Encouraging New Study
A study that was completed in 2014 on guinea pigs suffering from osteoarthritis arrived at encouraging conclusions.
The study was called In vivo effect of two different pulsed electromagnetic field frequencies on osteoarthritis, and it was conducted in Bologna, Italy. (1)
The team that did the study included Veronesi F, Torricelli P, Giavaresi G, Sartori M, Cavani F, Setti S, Cadossi M, Ongaro A, and Fini M.
Guinea pigs have a short lifespan (2 years), and usually develop arthritis between 3 and 6 months of age.
Because of their short lifespan, they are usually used in studies of arthritis.
Moreover, they undergo the same stages of arthritis as humans do.
The guinea pigs were split into three groups for the study.
Two groups used 37 and 75 Hz respectively, at the max intensity of 15 Gauss.
Their treatment lasted 6 hours a day for 90 days.
The third group had no PEMF exposure.
After the death of all the guinea pigs, their joints were inspected at autopsy.
The autopsies showed more cartilage degeneration in the placebo group, compared to the 2 PEMF groups.
The PEMF groups had thicker cartilage upon examination and less evidence of degeneration and damage.
PEMF therapy with both frequencies showed reduced bone thickness underlying the joint, which usually increases in arthritic joints.
Moreover, both frequencies maintained PG content, cartilage structure, cell appearance, and general cell integrity, in comparison to the placebo group.
The only area where the 75 Hz group showed better results than the 37 Hz group was in cartilage surface irregularities and cartilage thickness.
Both groups were better than the placebo group, but the 75 Hz group showed more improvement than the 37 Hz group.
Thus when talking about treatment parameters, different settings and durations show great results for arthritis.
However, a general conclusion is that the most beneficial parameters are 75 Hz frequency, at 15 Gauss intensity, for 6 hours a day.
It pays off to adhere to this plan, as the best results were achieved with many hours of daily use.
However, exposure to PEMF therapy for longer than 6 hours a day, does not necessarily mean better results; thus, 6 hours per day is the optimal duration.
Other Benefits of PEMF Therapy
Apart from having amazing effects on arthritis, PEMF therapy can treat or relieve symptoms of many other common diseases, as well.
It has a positive effect on both physical and mental health conditions, but it is also a powerful way of addressing pain.
Let’s review these numerous benefits in greater detail below.
One of the fields in which modern medicine stumbles the most today is pain management.
The usual way of treating pain is by using painkillers.
However, in many cases, these do more harm than good.
They have numerous side effects, and can be habit-forming.
Thus, PEMF is an important and safe alternative to consider.
In 1993, a study was completed at the International Pain Research Institute that came to the conclusion that even brief exposure of painful areas to PEMF therapy showed a significant reduction in pain. (2)
Improved Blood Flow
The way in which PEMF therapy promotes healing is through improved blood flow.
By dilating the blood vessels in the affected area, the amount of blood that reaches that area is significantly increased.
This fresh blood improves the regeneration and healing processes, and brings more oxygen to the cells and tissue.
Moreover, PEMF therapy affects the charge of red blood cells and stops them from adhering to each other.
This way the red blood cells travel through blood vessels much more easily, and do not stick together. (3)
Reduced Symptoms of Depression
PEMF therapy has been proven as a great alternative to antidepressants.
As much as one-third of depression patients do not respond well to these drugs.
Their condition either does not improve, or it becomes worse.
Moreover, antidepressants have many possible side effects, like nausea, insomnia, weight gain, and so on.
PEMF is a great secondary treatment of depression for those patients who do not experience remission with medication.
It can also be used together with medication to increase its effects.
Researchers in Denmark proved that the combination of the two showed significantly better results in medication-resistant patients. (4)
PEMF treatment is an effective therapy for patients who suffer from frequent and intense migraine attacks.
If you suffer from this health condition, taking medicine on a regular basis can cause side effects, and it can negatively affect your quality of life.
Luckily, scientists in the U.S. in 1999 showed that PEMF had significant benefits for patients suffering from migraines.
One month of regular therapy was enough for all patients in the study to experience a decrease in both migraine frequency and intensity. (5)
Therefore, it offers a new source of hope for all patients suffering from this stubborn health condition.
Improved Bone Healing
PEMF therapy has especially beneficial effects on non-union bone fractures.
When used for this purpose, it accelerates the healing of the bone in a completely non-invasive way.
The alternative for treatment of non-union fractures is orthopedic surgery.
In a study conducted in Bangladesh, in 1999, PEMF treatment was applied to 13 patients suffering from non-union fractures.
Eleven of them experienced successful healing of the affected bone after 14 weeks of treatment. (6)
Lower Diabetic Factors
Patients suffering from diabetes often are diagnosed with diabetic polyneuropathy.
This condition is characterized by weakness on both sides of the body, and is caused by deteriorated nerves.
In 2003, a study published in Neuroscience and Behavioral Physiology showed that PEMF therapy can greatly reduce the symptoms connected with diabetic polyneuropathy.
Therefore, PEMF therapy restores nerve function, and improves the overall quality of life of patients suffering from this diabetes complication. (7)
Improved Nerve Repair
PEMF therapy can greatly accelerate nerve repair, especially in patients suffering from sciatic nerve conditions.
The Bioelectromagnetic Society conducted a study in 1993 to prove this, and they came to encouraging conclusions.
The study was done on rats suffering from sciatica, and showed that these rats recovered more efficiently from sciatic nerve damage when treated with PEMF therapy.
The mechanisms of these benefits are still unknown; however, it is believed that they are linked to the improved blood flow in the affected area, which improves the body’s response.
However it works, the treatment offers new hope for these patients. (8)
Our body follows the Earth’s circadian rhythm to determine when it is time to go to sleep and time to wake up.
The Earth’s magnetic field emits higher frequencies in the morning, and lower frequencies at night.
However, sometimes our own circadian rhythm becomes disrupted, and so our sleep becomes disturbed as well.
By using PEMF therapy at lower frequencies at night, we prepare our body to fall asleep, and in return get much better sleep and a deeper REM phase.
On the other hand, using higher frequencies in the morning will help us wake up more quickly, and be more ready to tackle the day.
The facts presented above show us that PEMF can be a powerful weapon against arthritis and many other common illnesses.
Unfortunately, the majority of the population will develop arthritis at some point in their lives, and it will affect them more and more as they age.
There is no reason to suffer from it for the rest of one’s life.
It is still not clear whether the arthritic process can be completely reversed; however, the evidence shows PEMF can definitely slow down and reverse the detrimental processes of arthritis, at least to some degree.
Therefore, it is important to diagnose arthritis early on, and incorporate PEMF therapy as early as possible to counter the symptoms when they are still very mild.
This way, patients avoid more serious consequences, and more serious and invasive treatment options such as orthopedic surgery and joint replacement.
Since the treatment of arthritis is a life-long process, regardless if the symptoms are mild or severe, it is much better for patients to choose a safe and a non-invasive treatment that will not only treat their arthritis but also improve the overall quality of their lives.