Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy has gained recognition as a viable approach to managing osteoarthritis. This has left many wondering: does PEMF therapy work for knee osteoarthritis?
Research on PEMF therapy has been ongoing for about two decades. This prolonged research has proved that PEMF therapy alleviates pain, stimulates faster recovery, and improves the quality of life in people.
If you are considering incorporating PEMF therapy in your current treatment plan, continue reading to find out if this therapy lives up to the hype and helps manage the symptoms effectively.
Understanding Knee Osteoarthritis
Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a common degenerative joint disease that occurs due to wear and tear of the cartilage in the knee joints.
Cartilage is a smooth connective tissue that provides cushioning at the end of the bones and allows smooth joint movement. So, when the cartilage is damaged, the bones of joints rub together, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness and affecting the ability to move freely.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), knee osteoarthritis is the most common type of osteoarthritis, affecting about 365 million people.
Following are some of the factors which increase the risk of knee osteoarthritis:
- Joint injuries
- Repetitive stress
- Loss of mobility
- Congenital disabilities
- Other medical conditions
There is no cure for osteoarthritis, so the primary goal of treatment is to manage symptoms, improve joint mobility, and enhance the overall quality of life. The choice of treatment approach varies from person to person, depending upon their condition and preferences.
The treatment plan may include a combination of the following:
Weight management: Maintaining a healthy weight minimises the strain on your joints, reduces pain, enhances joint function, and slows the progression of osteoarthritis.
Exercise therapy: Regular physical activity such as walking, cycling, weightlifting, stretching, and stability exercises keep your joints flexible, increase muscle strength, release pain-relieving hormones, and improve overall health
Medications: The drugs used in knee osteoarthritis do not cure the condition but help manage the symptoms. Some of the commonly used drugs include:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Topical creams or gels containing NSAIDs or capsaicin
- Corticosteroid injection in the knees
- Dietary supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate
Knee bracing: It is a specialised device worn around the knee to alleviate the load on the affected joint. This provides support, stability, and protection to the joint.
Surgery: The surgical option is only considered when other treatment options fail to work.
The above-mentioned conventional treatment methods have limitations, such as medication side effects, dependency, high cost, invasive procedures, and prolonged and incomplete recovery.
PEMF Therapy: A Promising Approach For Pain Relief
Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy is a non-invasive and drug-free approach for knee OA. It involves using low-level electromagnetic fields to stimulate the cells and tissues found in the knee joint.
When the magnetic fields enter the body and interact directly with the damaged cells, they improve blood flow, relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and enhance tissue healing, promoting overall well-being.
Does PEMF Work: What Does Research Say?
Multiple scientific research studies have proved the significance of PEMF therapy for knee OA. Some of the studies are mentioned here:
A study concluded that treatment with a pulsed electromagnetic field significantly improves pain and stiffness in knee osteoarthritis patients.
In a controlled clinical trial, 60 patients with knee osteoarthritis received 12-hour daily treatment for one month with a Pulsed Electromagnetic Field device. After one month, results suggested that PEMF therapy Significantly Reduced pain and improved physical functioning. Moreover, 26% of patients in PEMF therapy groups stopped taking NSAID/analgesic therapy.
A randomised controlled trial was done to compare the effectiveness of Pulsed Electromagnetic Field therapy with Low-level laser therapy for an individual with knee OA. For this study, 40 participants were randomly assigned to 2 groups, each receiving six sessions over three weeks. The results showed that PEMF proved a more effective treatment in reducing pain at rest and during activities, making it a promising therapeutic option.
Another research was conducted at Johns Hopkins University, where 78 patients with knee osteoarthritis were enrolled. The group of patients who received Pulsed Electromagnetic Field therapy sessions showed significant improvement in pain, stiffness, and function compared to the control group.
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Our recovery devices seamlessly integrate the combination of 5 modalities – PEMF, far infrared, negative ion, heat, and red-light therapy. This powerful combination stimulates the natural healing process and improves overall health.
PEMF therapy is a safe and scientifically backed innovative approach for individuals suffering from knee osteoarthritis.
By sending low-frequency magnetic waves to the damaged tissues, PEMF therapy stimulates cellular activity, reduces pain, decreases inflammation, improves blood circulation, promotes healing, improves joint mobility, and much more.
This reliable alternative or complementary therapy’s remarkable benefits make it a game-changer for those seeking to regain quality of life.