If you have a medical condition, are dealing with chronic pain, or are recovering from surgery, your doctor may have recommended adjunctive therapies — along with your primary care — to improve healing and reduce discomfort. For example, people who’ve experienced whiplash may take medications and use neck braces as their primary treatments, but they may also undergo adjunctive therapy like chiropractic adjustments.
One adjunctive treatment that you should ask your chiropractor about is pulsed electro-magnetic field (PEMF) therapy. Read on to learn more.
What is PEMF and How Does it Work?
Obviously, a balance of hormones, minerals, and vitamins needs to be maintained for optimal cell health, but electrical health is also important for the nervous system to send signals throughout the body.
During PEMF therapy, your chiropractor will use a device that pulses low-level electromagnetic frequencies to correct the flow of charges across the cell membrane. These frequencies penetrate into muscles, tendons, bones, and organs to stimulate cells’ natural mechanisms for recovery and repair.
Is PEMF Therapy Safe?
Some people may balk at first since some electromagnetic fields can cause disruptions in DNA that could lead to cancer. However, PEMF therapy uses non-ionizing EMFs which means it isn’t dangerous like x-rays and other forms of high-energy radiation.
Your chiropractor can go over any contraindications to make sure that you are a good candidate for this therapy. For instance, individuals who are pregnant aren’t good candidates for this therapy. PEMF is also not recommended for people with pacemakers or other implanted electrical devices.
Who Could Benefit from PEMF Therapy?
PEMF therapy could benefit all sorts of patients since it can:
- Improve sleep cycles
- Improve symptoms of depression
- Improve immune function
- Improve circulation
- Improve bone healing and density
- Improve the immune system
However, studies have mainly focused on the benefits for patients with musculoskeletal disorders, osteoarthritis (OA), and peripheral neuropathy.
For People with Musculoskeletal Disorders
The Journal of Pain Research conducted a search through a database of various PEMF studies to see how this therapy could help people with various musculoskeletal disorders, such as tendinopathy, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, and back and neck pain. Researchers found that PEMF could help reduce pain intensity.
This treatment was well tolerated by many patients with no negative side effects. PEMF could be a helpful therapy for both chronic and acute cases. Even when used alone, PEMF could often reduce pain intensity.
For People with Osteoarthritis
One clinical trial looked at PEMF for osteoarthritis patients specifically and found that PEMF could have a beneficial effect in reducing stiffness and pain. This therapy could improve the quality of life for people with OA.
For People with Peripheral Neuropathy
Diabetics often suffer from peripheral neuropathy, where nerves in the limbs are damaged and cause tingling, weakness, and numbness. Researchers hypothesized that PEMF could safely repair misfiring neurons and help regulate neuropathic issues. PEMF therapy can provide short-term analgesic effects, but more studies need to be conducted in this regard.
What Should You Expect from PEMF Therapy?
Before getting started, speak with your chiropractor and doctor to see if this would be a good adjunctive therapy for your medical condition.
Some people may be nervous about their first PEMF session, but these devices can be adjusted to control comfort. You may notice tingling and small muscle contractions in areas where the device is placed. Some PEMF devices provide full-body mats, while some devices are smaller, portable, and only work on one area of the body.
If you experience any discomfort from the pulses, be sure to communicate your concerns to your chiropractor, as he or she can adjust the device to find a frequency that suits you. Some people may experience temporary side effects, such as sensitivity or lightheadedness. Your chiropractor can help you mitigate these symptoms. While it may take multiple sessions for you to see improvements, some people may see immediate results, such as pain relief and increased energy, after one session.
Reach out to us at Roach Family Wellness for more information.