PEMF Therapy vs Static Magnetic Field Therapy for Fibromyalgia

00:03:33 – Reading time. Did you know that Fibromyalgia affects 2 to 4 percent of the US population? (1) Did you know that 90 percent of patients with Fibromyalgia are women? (1)

Fibromyalgia is a chronic syndrome that results in mental distress and bodily pain. That is to say, that it often comes about from an autoimmune disorder or a traumatic injury, or genetic factors. (2)

Fibromyalgia has no cure. But medications, exercises, and other therapies can help manage symptoms. (2)

Therefore, in this article, we’ll explore if PEMF Therapy and Static Magnetic Field Therapy can help patients with Fibromyalgia.

PEMF Therapy for Fibromyalgia studies

A 2006 study examined the effects PEMF has on fibromyalgia patients and rheumatoid arthritis. So, the double-blind-placebo-controlled study involved 2 patient populations. The study examined the pain and anxiety ratings of each. (4)

For instance, 18 fibromyalgia patients received 30 minutes of PEMF. The study revealed a significant relief for chronic pain. But there were no significant reductions in anxiety. It was obvious only in pain reduction. In conclusion, the study found that PEMF exposure does support reducing pain. (4) 

In addition, a similar study found even more benefits. Therefore,  a 2009 study also investigated the benefits of PEMF for fibromyalgia patients. The randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled clinical study studied 56 women aged between 18 to 60 years. Furthermore, the study split 56 women into two groups. One group received PEMF Therapy, while the other Sham Therapy. Both received 30 minutes per session, twice a day for 3 weeks. (5) Consequently, the study found significant improvements in the group that received PEMF Therapy. In conclusion, the study found that low-frequency PEMF Therapy might improve pain, tiredness, mobility, and global static in patients with Fibromyalgia. (5)

Static Magnetic Field Therapy for Fibromyalgia studies

Static Magnetic Field Therapy is a multi-billion dollar industry. There are countless claims for their effectiveness, especially when it comes to mitigating pain. In fact, a survey showed that around 28% of patients with fibromyalgia use magnets or copper bracelets in hopes of relieving pain. (6)

However, there is minimal research when it comes to static magnetic field therapy for fibromyalgia. 

One of the most notable studies that get referenced comes from a 2001 survey. The study specifically examined the benefits of static magnetic fields on fibromyalgia patients. So, the magnets had two different configurations. Magnetic sleep pads produced static magnetic fields. (7)

Of course, the randomized, placebo-controlled study investigated whether static magnetic field therapy could decrease pain perception and improve functional status in fibromyalgia patients. (7)

The 6-month trial was conducted from November 1997 through December 1998. Participants in one group had functional pad A group that contained a low, uniform static magnetic field of negative polarity. While participants in another group had functional pad B. It also had a low static magnetic field, but it was varied spatially and in polarity. On the other hand, participants in two other groups received sham pads with non-active magnets. (7)

The study examined the pain intensity ratings, functional status, tender point count, and tender point pain intensity score after six months. As a result, the study found a significant difference in pain intensity. The group with functional pad A with a low, uniform static magnetic field of negative polarity had the most reduced pain from baseline. (7)

All groups had a reduction in tender points, but no significant difference was observed. Moreover, the functional pad groups that had active magnets reduced total tender point pain intensity and improved functional status, but the difference was not significant. (7) 

That is to say, that functional pad groups had shown improvements in functional status, pain, tender point count, and intensity after six months of static magnetic field therapy. But the pain intensity was not significant from the groups with in-active magnets or in the typical care group. (7)

Conclusion

In short, PEMF therapy and static magnetic field therapy are both exciting technologies that appear interesting for patients with fibromyalgia. 

PEMF therapy has been shown in numerous studies to be beneficial for improving many conditions as an adjunct therapy. While the efficacy of static magnetic field doesn’t come close to PEMF. But Both therapies are not intended to substitute conventional therapy. Furthermore, SMF therapy is certainly not intended to treat or improve any health condition.

So, future studies may present an opportunity for static magnetic field therapy to shine.

References

(1). The ACPA. (2019). Quick Facts on Fibromyalgia – The ACPA. [online] Available at: https://www.theacpa.org/conditions-treatments/conditions-a-z/fibromyalgia/two-takes-on-fibro/quick-facts-on-fibromyalgia/#:~:text=Fibromyalgia%20affects%20an%20estimated%202,of%20fibromyalgia%20sufferers%20are%20female  [Accessed 22 Dec. 2020].

(2). Felman, A. (2018). Everything you need to know about fibromyalgia. [online] Medicalnewstoday.com. Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/147083  [Accessed 22 Dec. 2020].

(4). Shupak, N.M., McKay, J.C., Nielson, W.R., Rollman, G.B., Prato, F.S. and Thomas, A.W. (2006). 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 Research and Management, [online] 11(2), pp.85–90. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16770449/  [Accessed 22 Dec. 2020].

(‌5). Sutbeyaz, S.T., Sezer, N., Koseoglu, F. and Kibar, S. (2009). Low-frequency Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy in Fibromyalgia. The Clinical Journal of Pain, [online] 25(8), pp.722–728. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19920724/  [Accessed 22 Dec. 2020].

(6). Rao, J.K., Mihaliak, K., Kroenke, K., Bradley, J., Tierney, W.M. and Weinberger, M. (1999). Use of Complementary Therapies for Arthritis among Patients of Rheumatologists. Annals of Internal Medicine, [online] 131(6), p.409. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10498556/  [Accessed 22 Dec. 2020].

‌(7). Alfano, A.P., Taylor, A.G., Foresman, P.A., Dunkl, P.R., McConnell, G.G., Conaway, M.R. and Gillies, G.T. (2001). Static Magnetic Fields for Treatment of Fibromyalgia: A Randomized Controlled Trial. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, [online] 7(1), pp.53–64. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11246937/  [Accessed 22 Dec. 2020].

 

 

 

 

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