Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) for Lower Back pain offers relief from its symptoms. Not just back pain, PEMF has the ability to heal and help with the prognosis of Diabetic Neuropathy, Osteoarthritis too. PEMF has been recently coming to light as back pain continues to be a constant worry in the lives of adults. From middle age to old age, back pain, whether in the lower or upper region, whether acute or chronic, is bound to strike humans due to their lifestyle, work hours and posture. Worldwide, lower back pain continues to be a burden on people. It’s imperative that safer, reliable and effective treatment options be discovered that are non-pharmacological as opposed to the extensive use of medicines. Lower back pain treatment with PEMF is a research priority and is the next best treatment available to people who suffer from acute or chronic back pain.
What is PEMF?
Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) for Lower Back pain is unique in its mechanism and procedure as opposed to drug intake. A lot of drugs have been made available to patients suffering from lower back pain and related conditions. The medicines they ingest may induce side effects or toxicity with long term use, which is probable in patients who present with chronic pain or take drugs in an uncontrolled quantity. Poor drug compliance or drug overuse, even though they’re ineffective, requires another therapeutic approach. The pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) therapy can offer the treatment without the added side effects, drug toxicity and is a non-thermal approach. It is a better alternative to taking Non-Steroidal Inflammatory drugs, which are a common medicine used in such illnesses and are misused greatly. Radical Lumbar Radiculopathy, inflammation of the skin, Diabetic complications, Osteoarthritis, Sciatica, Osteoporosis, Spinal Degeneration, Fibromyalgia, and Spondylitis are among the extensive causes of back pain, and treating back pain would mean easing the symptoms and progression of these underlying diseases.
How does Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) for Lower Back Pain work?
To understand how Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) for lower back pain and related diseases works, let’s go to the molecular level of the cell. The body is composed of innumerable cells. These cells have a covering around them known as a cell membrane. Healthy cells possess negative and positive charges. The cells on the inside have a negative charge and the outside of the cell has a positive charge. These charges are crucial for the exchange of electrolytes across the cell membrane. The exchange of charges and electrolytes is dependent on the electrical current that is generated by the flow of charges across the membrane; the most important ions being sodium, potassium and calcium ions. Upon stimulation, positive cells enter into the cell and open the various ion channels. There’s a shift in charges and the inside of the cell becomes positive, whereas the charge on the outside of the cell shifts to negative. This process generates more electric current when they exacerbate they’re known as electrical pulses and this procedure is known as the generation of an action potential. And whenever the cells become afflicted or diseased, then trauma or toxins consuming the cell result in them losing their capacity to function normally. Thereby, destroying the exchange mechanism of electrolytes and creating an imbalance. PEMF is responsible for restoring this imbalance of charges and making the cells regain their power to function. Not only is normal cell functioning possible but added recovery and healing of tissues are also speeded up.
Why PEMF is better than Surgery?
It is advised that every person suffering severe back pain consider this as a therapeutic approach rather than opting for surgery. Lower back pain treatment with PEMF technology delivers pulses that are gentle in nature and they mimic electromagnetic waves that are natural waves found on the earth. Most importantly, they’re non-invasive and are an ideal solution for people who wish to avoid surgery due to its risks or fears. The pulses aren’t felt by the patient but instead soothe a tense and sore muscle till the point that they relax. Based on the extensiveness and severity of the pain the treatment duration can last from 30 minutes to a few hours in a day. This method was approved by the FDA back in 1979 and was made specifically for healing fractures. Its greatest advantage is that it can be used for an array of diseases, which is why physiotherapists, neurologists, and rheumatologists have been using it to carry out notable clinical trials.
Conventional Treatment VS Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) for Lower Back Pain
Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy for Lower Back pain is being heralded as an upgraded and superior solution for back pain, regardless of the cause. It is an effective and convenient solution to conventional treatments such as cold compresses, bed rest, traditional physiotherapy and excessive drug intake that ranges from painkillers, NSAIDs to narcotics and steroids. Acupuncture and surgery are also treatments people opt for. While mild back pain is usually resolved by bed rest, analgesics and physical therapy. Chronic back pain is a serious issue for which treatment is still being modified and researched. Below is a list that compares conventional treatments to new and non-invasive treatments that are considered effective and long-lasting. Since the conservative approaches currently used to manage CLBP do not seem to be effective when used in the long run, new approaches need to be pursued. The new approaches should be safe, non-invasive and cost-effective.
|Traditional Treatments||New, Non-Invasive Treatments|
(Analgesics, NSAIDs, Steroids, Gabapentin)
|Hot Stone Therapy|
|Ice pack compresses||Heat Therapy|
|Physical Therapy||Photon Light Therapy|
|Acupuncture||Far Infrared Therapy|
|Surgery||Negative Ion Therapy|
The conventional therapies are often tried and tested with little effect. These new treatments alongside PEMF are further elaborated below.
1.Hot Stone Therapy:
As the name suggests, the therapy involves soaking stones in hot water and then applying them to specific sites on the body that elicit pain. This therapy helps melt away tensions, helps relax muscle stiffness and improves circulation. An hour to an hour and a half session of heat stone therapy helps relax certain key points on the lower back to relieve stiffness.
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Often it’s debated when to use ice or heat therapy. Ice packs or cold packs are suggested when there’s bruising and redness from inflammation. In case of back pain, tense muscles and nerves are usually the cause in mechanical back pain and they require therapies that encourage vasodilation and muscle relaxation rather than constriction. Vasodilation will help encourage circulation and help drain toxins. Either dry (sauna, heat pads) or wet heat therapy (steamed towels and hot baths) can be used easily and followed routinely.
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3.Photon Light Therapy:
This Therapy requires exposing the damaged or hurt part of the body to LED lights that emit green or white light. They activate the endorphin and cannabinoid systems within the body that help induce analgesic effects and relieve pain. This is a secure and non invasive procedure recommended by clinicians.
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4.Far Infrared Therapy:
Infra red Therapy is similar to Photon Light Therapy in the sense that this procedure also involves people having light radiate on them to heal their chronic pain. The infrared light has better propensity to penetrate into the muscles and nerves and is being tested and developed to become accessible to patients more and more.
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5.Negative Ion Therapy:
This therapy is based off the anions in the environment which can contribute to improving our bodily functions as opposed to positive ions. There are inventions like the BioMat available that require a person lie on it for 15 minutes and the rehabilitative effects are immediate. The person feels more energized due to improved circulation, electrolyte balance and the pH of their blood is restored as well.
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Research on Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) for Lower Back Pain
To assess the effectiveness of Lower back pain treatment with PEMF in reducing pain, lower back pathological conditions and clinical symptoms, let’s take a look at many clinical trials that have occurred regarding PEMF’s successful intervention in lower back pain treatment. In a lengthy systematic review that scrutinized lower back pain and its treatment options, the researchers analyzed data from 2005 to 2015, they found that with the addition of Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) for lower back pain, the patient reported improved
functionality and decreased pain. The list of reducing inflammation and lowering back pain doesn’t end here. Patients who had back pain without radiculopathy were treated with PEMF in Nigeria, 16 patients were chosen as candidates for the trail. They were split in a group of two, where one group was treated with PEMF alongside medications like analgesics and Diclofenac, whereas the other group was treated with only standard medicines. The group being treated with PEMF was given pulses for only 9 days but they were administered 4 times in a day. The 8 patients who received Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) had a considerable improvement in their pain and were able to resume routine functions quicker than their counterparts receiving only standard medications.
In another study, 40 patients who had back pain due to radiculopathy were taken into consideration p, and were randomly split into groups of two. Group 1 was given PEMF therapy and their counter group was given placebo treatment. The group receiving PEMF not only found their radiculopathy remarkably treated but also had significant reduction in their nerve root compression.
In the last year, 50 patients with non-specific lower back pain in Egypt had participated in a randomized controlled trial. Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) for lower back pain was compared to other non-invasive methods of treatment and their effectiveness noted. It was concluded that Lower back pain treatment with PEMF was much more beneficial than conventional physical therapy as it vastly improved the range of motion of patients, helped lessen functional disabilities and pain was reduced significantly. Even in post operative states PEMF has proven helpful.
In another study, 34 subjects with severe back pain following surgery were administered PEMF over a 45 day period, by the end of the trial there was a 55% reduction in the pain experienced. These clinical trials are the proof needed to ensure readers that new and lasting progress can be sought for a chronic condition such as back pain.
Adverse effects of Lower Back Pain treatment with PEMF
PEMF being a non-invasive and effective procedure offers little risk as opposed to complications following surgery, drug toxicity and ineffective drug consumption. Magnetic therapy doesn’t have to be discontinued in the event any person happens to be allergic to electromagnetic therapy. Magnetic therapies are re calibrating the body’s circulation, repair, stimulation of cells, absorption of nutrients and cause relaxation. So the body can tend to react to these changes. A person with a history of Ischemic heart disease should be given antioxidant therapy to avoid oxidative stress after circulation improves. Those with severe skin allergies might notice their inflammation increase, and there can be pain at previous fracture sites due to nerve stimulation. Those with magnetic field sensitivity can also experience fatigue, dizziness and weakness.
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Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) for lower back pain has been revolutionary in how immediate its ability to relieve pain. Researchers and clinicians need to encourage the use of this therapy to avoid costly and expensive treatments that patients subject themselves to through surgery and medicines. For decades now conventional treatments have failed to entirely eradicate the symptoms of chronic back pain that arises from a variety of debilitating causes. It’s imperative that people be taught to prefer non- invasive and less harmful approaches to improve their health and retain their functionality. Lower back pain treatment through PEMF is a certainty that pain in the back is manageable, treatable and reducible. Regular therapy for a week holds more promise than persistent drug intake for years and years. This effort won’t just eliminate drug toxicity and it’s complications but also avoid the issues regarding drug compliance and drug overuse.