PEMF and Inflammation

PEMF therapy is a powerful tool that can help us keep inflammation in check.

Of course, in many cases, inflammation is good for us.

It is our body’s defensive mechanism that helps us fight diseases and heal injuries.

However, sometimes, it can actually harm our body.

In situations where inflammation gets out of hand, we can use anti-inflammatory drugs, or we can turn to a natural solution without any side effects.

That is why we’d like to tell you more about the scientific evidence of the effects that PEMF has on inflammation, and how it can help you.


What Is Inflammation?

Inflammation is one element of our body’s immune response.

Our immune system recognizes pathogens, irritants, or damaged cells, and it begins the process of healing by starting an inflammatory process.

The symptoms and signs of an inflammatory process in our body can sometimes be uncomfortable or painful.

However, they are a good sign because they tell us that our body is trying to heal itself.

In some cases, inflammation persists longer than necessary, causes more harm than good, and can even become chronic.


Symptoms of Inflammation

The symptoms of inflammation are different for chronic and acute types.

To sum up the symptoms of acute inflammation, we use the acronym PRISH. It stands for:

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Immobility
  • Swelling
  • Heat

We can notice these symptoms only when the inflammation affects the skin.

If the inflammation is in an internal organ, some or none of these symptoms might occur.

For example, lung inflammation does not cause any pain.

Symptoms of chronic inflammation might include:

  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain
  • Mouth sores
  • Abdominal pain
  • Rash
  • Fever
  • Joint pain


Causes of Inflammation

Inflammation happens due to several physical reactions in our body, which are usually our body’s response to an infection or a physical injury.

Just before and during an acute inflammation, we can notice three important processes:

  • Arteriolar microvessels dilate within the damaged area and increase the blood flow.
  • Capillaries take in proteins and fluids more easily, so these can move from blood to cells more efficiently.
  • Our body starts producing neutrophils. These are one type of blood cells that contain small sacs with enzymes that destroy microorganisms.

The symptoms of an inflammation occur and become noticeable only after these processes have taken place.


Acute and Chronic Inflammation

An acute inflammation develops quickly, and usually lasts for a couple of hours, days, or weeks.

Some diseases or events that cause acute inflammation are physical trauma, tonsillitis, dermatitis, exercise, and more.

Chronic inflammation usually develops slowly, and lasts for several months or years.

Some examples include asthma, tuberculosis, arthritis, hepatitis, and so on.


Treatment of Inflammation

Anti-inflammatory medication is the most common approach to the treatment of inflammation.

We can use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin, but they cannot be used long-term.

We can also use corticosteroids, but these cause side effects as well if used long-term.

PEMF therapy is a form of alternative treatment of inflammation that does not cause side effects, and can be used long-term.

Its use is supported by a large number of studies, some of which we will present and analyze in the following section.


PEMF Therapy and Inflammation

The onset and duration of inflammation in our body are controlled by T cells.

These cells are one type of white blood cells, also known as lymphocytes, that are in charge of protecting our body.

When T cells remain active for longer than necessary, PEMF therapy can inactivate them and, in that way, reduce chronic inflammation.

Studies show that both low-frequency and low-intensity, and high-frequency and high-intensity, PEMF stimulation help control inflammation.

The death of unwanted lymphocytes and the reduction of inflammation become most noticeable 48 to 72 hours after PEMF stimulation.

After that, the effects of PEMF seem to disappear, so it is advisable to use the therapy on a regular basis until the inflammatory process completely ceases.

In order to maximize and prolong the effects, it is best to use pulse-burst high-frequency stimulation.

Moreover, research shows that PEMF therapy intensity between 5-25 mT does not affect normal lymphocytes.

As far as frequency is concerned, the best effects can be achieved with 50 Hz stimulation, but any stimulation in the range of 5-100 Hz will produce beneficial results.


PEMF and Inflammation Research

A study was conducted in the U.S. in 2014, at the Department of Neurosurgery, the University of New Mexico, which analyzed the effects of PEMF on inflammation and infarct size in mice after cerebral ischemia. (1)

The scientists who developed the study and conducted it were Pena-Philippides JC, Bragina O, Yang Y, Nemoto E, Hagberg S, and Roitbak T.

The scientists became interested in this subject because it has been shown before that PEMF therapy had pro-regenerative and anti-inflammatory effects in both humans and animals.

This study used an FDA-approved Sofpulse device to examine the effects of PEMF on infarct size and poststroke inflammation in mice, who suffered an occlusion of the distal middle cerebral artery.

PEMF therapy was applied 30-45 minutes after the occlusion, and then on a regular basis two times a day for a total of 21 days.

Histological analysis and MRI were used to assess the infarct size.

After completion of the study, the infarct size was 26% smaller on average in the PEMF group, compared to the control group.

Special chemokine/cytokine PCR array was used to evaluate neuroinflammation.

The results showed that PEMF significantly affected both pro- and anti-inflammatory factors.

Most importantly, the cytokine IL-1 α was significantly reduced, which plays a major role in the inflammation process.

Moreover, the important anti-inflammatory IL-10 compound was dramatically increased.

Even more importantly, PEMF also decreased the amount of pro-apoptotic tumor necrosis factor (TNF), which shows that PEMF treatment has both anti-apoptotic and anti-inflammatory effects.

Both of these effects that were noticed in mice could play an important role in reducing inflammation and accelerating the post-stroke recovery process.

This means that PEMF therapy can be used not only by stroke patients, but also by those who are suffering from chronic inflammation.

In sum, for best results with PEMF therapy, it is best to use high-frequency and high-intensity stimulation on a regular basis until the symptoms of inflammation completely cease.


Other Benefits of PEMF Therapy

PEMF therapy can be used to treat almost any disease known to humans.

This is possible because PEMF therapy works at the cellular level, helping to bring balance back to our cells, to recharge them, and to restock them with oxygen and nutrients.

A myriad of studies has been conducted so far, and many new ones are underway, that prove the beneficial effects of PEMF.

Here is our selection of the most popular uses of PEMF, and its scientifically-based evidence.


Prevents and Slows Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease is a health condition that affects more and more people worldwide.

A long time ago, it was observed only in the oldest population, but now the age at which it manifests is rapidly decreasing.

It is an incurable disease, but its symptoms can be controlled.

A study was conducted in 2010 at the University of Toronto which showed that PEMF stimulation to the fornix and hypothalamus could alter the neurophysiological activity in patients with Alzheimer’s, and in that way either postpone the onset of the disease, or reduce its symptoms in the early stages. (2)


Helps with Atrial Fibrillation

Most people will at some point experience heart palpitations caused by atrial fibrillation.

These can be very mild and just cause discomfort, or they can become severe and life-threatening.

A group of Chinese and American researchers conducted a study in 2015 that showed PEMF therapy can affect the sinus code in the heart, which is in charge of maintaining a regular heartbeat.

Therefore, PEMF therapy can be used to keep atrial fibrillation in check, and prevent it from intensifying. (3)


Reduces Symptoms of Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a serious health condition that affects the eye, and that can eventually lead to a complete loss of vision.

It happens because of the rising pressure in the eye which damages the optic nerve.

If it is treated early, it can be managed without any serious consequences.

Russian scientists conducted a study in 1990 to investigate whether PEMF therapy could reduce eye pressure.

They concluded that only 7 minutes of PEMF stimulation a day could help with the symptoms of glaucoma, and prevent it from developing further. (4)


Slows Development of Multiple Sclerosis

Patients suffering from multiple sclerosis experience a range of symptoms that vary from mild to very severe.

Most often, these symptoms significantly reduce their quality of life, as well as their mobility and independence.

A study in 2003 examined how PEMF therapy affects the quality of life and fatigue levels in patients with MS.

They came to the conclusion that the exposure of patients with MS to PEMF stimulation significantly both reduced the level of fatigue and improved their overall quality of life. (5)


Helps Manage Scleroderma

Scleroderma is a common skin condition, the cause of which is not yet completely clear.

It triggers the overproduction of collagen which causes thick and rough skin.

It can range from mild to very severe, potentially completely changing a person’s appearance.

Luckily PEMF therapy can offer some relief.

The famous Dr. Pawluk conducted a study which showed that PEMF therapy caused up to 95% improvement in several areas, such as reflexes, sweating, ulnar nerve function, and cold sensitivity.


Accelerates Wound Healing

PEMF therapy also accelerates wound healing.

This is great news, since there isn’t a person who has not suffered from some type of wound.

We fall, hit things, cut ourselves, and so on, and we end up with wounds and scars.

However, wounds can also be caused by surgery, and other more serious processes.

A study that took place in Hong Kong in 2014 examined whether PEMF therapy promoted early wound healing in rats suffering from diabetes.

Wounds were created in rats’ flesh for the study, and the subjects were then stimulated with PEMF.

The results of the study showed that the rats from the PEMF group had faster wound-healing compared to the control group. (7)


Reduces Pain

Instead of using painkillers for acute or chronic pain, patients can now turn to PEMF therapy for help.

Scientists at the International Pain Research Institute conducted a study in 1993 that proved PEMF therapy significantly reduced the amount of pelvic pain after a short period of stimulation. (8)


Improves Blood Flow

This is possibly one of the most important effects that PEMF therapy has on our body.

PEMF stimulation causes vasodilatation of arterial microvessels, a study conducted at Wake Forest University shows. (9)

This effect of PEMF therapy has huge implications for many health conditions, ranging from very mild ones to severe ones such as heart attack and stroke.



We have learned in this article that inflammation can be very beneficial for us, and is in fact in many cases crucial for complete healing.

Sometimes, however, it can do more harm than good, and can lead to chronic states that may severely affect our quality of life and health.

In such cases, when the white blood cells in our body are attacking even the healthy cells, PEMF therapy can help us by causing the death of these abnormal white cells.

We can use PEMF therapy to treat both acute and chronic inflammatory processes, even though acute inflammation should sometimes be left to resolve on its own.

The best approach to treating inflammation with PEMF is with high-frequency and high-intensity stimulation, at regular periods, during the whole duration of the inflammation.

Sometimes the inflammation may persist, even after all of the symptoms have disappeared, and it can turn into a chronic condition.

Because of that it is important to continue with PEMF therapy for some time after the inflammation appears cured, just to make sure that we have dealt with it successfully.