Case Studies supporting PEMF benefits for Fibromyalgia
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
BACKGROUND: Specific pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs) have been shown to induce analgesia (antinociception) in snails, rodents and healthy human volunteers.
OBJECTIVE: The effect of specific PEMF exposure on pain and anxiety ratings was investigated in two patient populations.
DESIGN: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled parallel design was used.
METHOD: The present study investigated the effects of an acute 30 min magnetic field exposure (less than or equal to 400 μTpk; less than 3 kHz) on pain (McGill Pain Questionnaire [MPQ], visual analogue scale [VAS]) and anxiety (VAS) ratings in female rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (n=13; mean age 52 years) and fibromyalgia (FM) patients (n=18; mean age 51 years) who received either the PEMF or sham exposure treatment.
RESULTS: A repeated measures analysis revealed a significant prepost-testing by condition interaction for the MPQ Pain Rating Index total for the RA patients, F(1,11)=5.09, P<0.05, estimate of effect size = 0.32, power = 0.54. A significant pre-post-effect for the same variable was present for the FM patients, F(1,15)=16.2, P<0.01, estimate of effect size = 0.52, power =0.96. Similar findings were found for MPQ subcomponents and the VAS (pain). There was no significant reduction in VAS anxiety ratings pre- to post-exposure for either the RA or FM patients.
CONCLUSION: These findings provide some initial support for the use of PEMF exposure in reducing pain in chronic pain populations and warrants continued investigation into the use of PEMF exposure for short-term pain relief.
Low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic field therapy in fibromyalgia: A randomized, double-blind, shamcontrolled clinical study
Objective: To evaluate the clinical effectiveness of low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy for women with fibromyalgia (FM).
Methods: Fifty-six women with FM, aged 18 to 60 years, were randomly assigned to either PEMF or sham therapy. Both the PEMF group (n=28) and the sham group (n=28) participated in therapy, 30 minutes per session, twice a day for 3 weeks. Treatment outcomes were assessed by the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), visual analog scale (VAS), patient global assessment of response to therapy, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and Short-Form 36 health survey (SF-36), after treatment (at 4 wk) and follow-up (at 12 wk).
Results: The PEMF group showed significant improvements in FIQ, VAS pain, BDI score, and SF-36 scale in all domains at the end of therapy. These improvements in FIQ, VAS pain, and SF-36 pain score during follow-up. The sham group also showed improvements were maintained on all outcome measures except total FIQ scores after treatment. At 12 weeks follow-up, only improvements in the BDI and SF-36 scores were present in the sham group.
Conclusion: Low-frequency PEMF therapy might improve function, pain, fatigue, and global status in FM patients.
Physical Therapy in Treating Fibromyalgia Syndrome: A Brief Review
The pathophysiology of fibromyalgia syndrome (FM) is poorly understood. A wide variety of interventions are used in the management of FM. There is, however, no clear consensus on the management of choice and FM remains relatively refractory to treatment. Currently, multidisciplinary treatment is considered to be the best therapeutic option for FM and physical therapy has an important role in this approach. The objective of this review is to present the scientific evidence relating to physical therapy methods for the management of FM and give some practical advice for their use. The goals of physical therapy modalities, therapeutic exercises and massage for subjects with FM are to improve or maintain physical function, general fitness, emotional well being, overall health and symptoms, and provide them with a feeling of control over their well being. Therapeutic modalities should be individualised for FM patients based on target symptoms and impairment in functioning. All electrotherapeutic interventions should be performed by a trained physiotherapist to avoid life threatening misusage and side effects of these modalities. In conclusion, the literature to date has assessed the effect of a range of physical therapeutic interventions on various outcomes for FM. At present, use of selected electrotherapeutic intervention or hydrotherapy with aerobic exercises or other exercise programs and massage are indicated. At this time, in the light of literature, none of the currently used physical therapy agents can be refuted in the treatment of FM.
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial using a low-frequency magnetic field in the treatment of musculoskeletal chronic pain
AW Thomas, K Graham, FS Prato, et al. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial using a low frequency magnetic field in the treatment of musculoskeletal chronic pain.
Exposure to a specific pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) has been shown to produce analgesic (antinociceptive) effects in many organisms. In a randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled clinical trial, patients with either chronic generalized pain from fibromyalgia (FM) or chronic localized musculoskeletal or inflammatory pain were exposed to a PEMF (400 μT) through a portable device fitted to their head during twice-daily 40 min treatments over seven days. The effect of this PEMF on pain reduction was recorded using a visual analogue scale. A differential effect of PEMF over sham treatment was noticed in patients with FM, which approached statistical significance (P=0.06) despite low numbers (n=17); this effect was not evident in those without FM (P=0.93; n=15). PEMF may be a novel, safe and effective therapeutic tool for use in at least certain subsets of patients with chronic, nonmalignant pain. Clearly, however, a larger randomized, double-blind clinical trial with just FM patients is warranted.
Case Study Reference Source:
1. 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
(Authors: Naomi M Shupak MSc, Julia C McKay BSc, Warren R Nielson PhD, Gary B Rollman PhD, Frank S Prato PhD, Alex W Thomas PhD)
2. Low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic field therapy in fibromyalgia: A randomized, double-blind, shamcontrolled clinical study
(Authors: "Serap Tomruk Sutbeyaz, MD", "Nebahat Sezer, MD", "Fusun Koseoglu, MD" and "Sibel Kibar, MD")
3. Physical Therapy in Treating Fibromyalgia Syndrome: A Brief Review
(Authors: Levent Ediz, Özcan Hiz)
4. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial using a low-frequency magnetic field in the treatment of musculoskeletal chronic pain
(Authors: Alex W Thomas PhD, Karissa Graham BSc, Frank S Prato PhD, Julia McKay BSc, Patricia Morley Forster MD, Dwight E Moulin MD, Sesh Chari MD)