How PEMF enhances the body’s natural healing process?
PEMF therapy can trace its history way back to mid-20th century, when researchers recognized that electromagnetic fields can modulate cellular activity. At first, researchers focused on using an electromagnetic field to produce local heat. Later, they realized that even low power signals sent in bursts/pulses that do not produce heat or interfere with the working of nerves can boost healing. Thus, the early PEMF devices were born.
However, the early PEMF devices were bulky, using heavy coils and other bulky parts. But things changed with the widespread use of transistors and improvements in electronics. Finally, making portable PEMF devices became a reality.
Nevertheless, it took several decades more for researchers to understand all the benefits of PEMF. Even more complex was to know how it works. Since then, studies have proposed various mechanisms of action.
PEMF reduces local inflammation and edema
PEMF is a US FDA-approved therapy for boosting healing processes. It is especially useful for reducing local inflammation. It can fasten the joining of bones, closure of wounds, and much more. Studies show that this inflammation-reducing action has lots to do with PEMF’s interaction with intracellular calcium.
PEMF promotes the binding of Ca to CaM, which in turn in increases the release of NO. However, only a low-level electromagnetic current applied in short bursts is needed to activate such a pathway. Such low-level current does not produce heat or interfere with other cellular activities. This increases local NO has a potent anti-inflammatory action.
It reduces the leakage from local small blood vessels, improves lymph flow. In addition, it further promotes the formation of new blood vessels. Thus, regular use of PEMF may considerably reduce inflammation and promote the healing of chronic wounds.
PEMF reduces pain
Generally, what reduces inflammation, also reduces pain. However, it is worth understanding that PEMF does not suppress inflammation completely. A low degree of inflammation is needed for faster healing. What is bad and painful is uncontrolled inflammation.
PEMF indeed utilizes a low level of electromagnetic current. This low level of current may modulate nerve signal a bit. But, PEMF does not considerably interfere with the working of nerves. That is why PEMF is so safe. Moreover, PEMF devices do not cause any local heating processes. Therefore, many manufacturers might combine PEMF with other methods like infrared therapy, photon therapy.
PEMF therapy has a very unique mode of action. It penetrates deep inside the cells and helps normalize their energy production. For such an activity, only a pulsed electromagnetic field works and not continuous.
Boosts local energy production and production of growth factors
Researchers have found that PEMF increases the formation of small blood vessels, granulation, collagen production, and tissue remodeling. These actions are not possible without stimulating local stem cells, promoting the secretion of various growth factors.
Additionally, most of these healing processes need a high supply of energy. Generally, inflamed areas have issues with the energy supply required for healing. But, PEMF therapy may boost local cGMP production. Thus, this molecule can provide much-needed energy for various local healing processes.
But, not only that, regular application of PEMF may suppress the secretion of inflammatory cytokines.
The good thing about PEMF is that it promotes healing and suppresses inflammation more naturally. Since suppressing all the inflammatory action would be counterproductive. For example, one may potentially suppress inflammation with the use of drugs like corticosteroids. But these drugs are so powerful that they even slow down local healing. Thus, using these medications is not recommended when promoting healing.
Another good thing about PEMF therapy is that it is non-invasive, and PEMF devices are pretty simple to use. It means that they may be used along with other methods of treatment. For example, doctors can even use PEMF in post-operative cases by just applying it over the dressing. There is no need to remove the dressing, and it does not interfere with other treatments.
In soft tissue injuries, PEMF can be really quick to increase local blood flow, improve circulation, reduce tissue edema, and reduce pain. Its ability to promote healing is another very different kind of mechanism of action. There are very few therapies that have such a distinct and diverse mode of action.
To conclude, PEMF is equally suitable for chronic pains and acute issues. In the case of acute disorders, it may reduce local edema and promote healing. Whereas, in chronic conditions, it reduces local spasms, increases blood flow, and helps overcome difficult to treat pains.