Treating Arthritis and Osteoperosis with PEMF.

By Jonathan Bowen

~ Jonathan Bowen

Arthritis and PEMF

Arthritis is a disorder that causes inflammation in the joints. Arthritis comes from the Greek word “artho” – meaning a joint, and “itis” – meaning inflammation. There are many different forms of arthritis.

Symptoms and Types of Arthritis

Arthritis is usually characterized by pain in the joints, and can manifest itself in swelling, aching and stiffness around the joints.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease caused by mechanical stress on the joints from daily wear and tear or through injury. It is the most common form of arthritis and affects both large and small joints in the body. It usually begins in the cartilage and as this disintegrates bone upon bone wear results. Pain from osteoarthritis increases, exercise is usually reduced and a vicious circle is created, as bones need exercise to strengthen.

Curatron PEMF regrows bone density for osteoporosis

Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the immune system attacks joint lining and cartilage leading to bone-on-bone wear. Again, the pain can be debilitating and prevents activity.

Osteoporosis is a related degenerative bone disease that results in a decrease in bone mineral density and leads to an increased risk in fractures.

Standard Treatment

Standard treatment for arthritis include:

  • Medication for reducing inflammation (i.e. ibuprofen). and decreasing pain (i.e. acetaminophen).
  • Exercise for weight control and physical therapy are often prescribed to stem the degradation of the joints.
  • Orthopedic bracing may also be prescribed.
  • Eventually, joint replacement surgery is prescribed once the joints are eroded sufficiently. However, wait times for joint replacements are often long, and recovery time can be significant.
  •  Rheumatoid arthritis is treated with drugs such as corticosteroids to monoclonal antibodies.

 

Side Effects of Implants

Stress from the initial operation can include heart attack, stroke, blood clots in the veins (venous thromboembolism), pneumonia, confusion and urinary tract infections.

Risks from the operation can include components being positioned in the wrong places can result in shortening, instability or dislocation, and loss of range of motion, fractures in adjacent bones or nerve damage.

  • Surrounding bone damage (periprosthetic fractures) can occur because the implant places stress on the surrounding bones, and this combined with medications can cause fractures around the implant causing it to fail.
  • Bone death (avascular necrosis or osteonecrosis) can occur because of the lack of blood supply to the surrounding bones. This is often the result of hip resurfacing than total hip replacement. However, with hip replacement the ball joint of the femoral bone is covered with a cap which can deprive the bone of blood supply and cause bone death.
  • Extra Bone Formation (heterotopic ossification) occurs when soft tissue outside of the bone calcifies. This is a natural phenomenon which the body uses to repair or ‘stint’ damaged areas. Soft tissue, such as muscles, can calcify on the outside of the skeleton causing the joint to become stiff. This is one of the most common problems with joint replacement and occurs in nearly 50% of patients, causing side effects in 10% which may lead to the need for interventions.
  • Over the long term risks include the loosening of components, the bonds between bone and components breaking down, causing movement pain and inflammation.
  • Concerns with titanium implants have been expressed over the past few years. All foreign substances will break down over a period of time. As the colbalt and titanium from implants corrodes it can cause health issues due to the build up of metallic debris in the soft tissues of the body (Metallosis). Some side effects include chronic fatigue syndrome, MS, myopathy, and others as documented by the MELISA foundation.

Side Effects of Medications

Side Effects from acetaminophen include liver damage, and even death (in cases of acute overdose). Some reports indicate possible skin reactions.

  • Ibuprofen has been found to cause adverse side effects such as nausea, heartburn and indigestion (dyspepsia), gastrointestinal ulceration or bleeding, diarrhea, constipation, nosebleed, headaches, dizziness, rashes (skin blistering), salt and fluid retention and hypertension. More serious side effects include esophageal ulceration, heart failure, kidney failure (renal failure), and a potential higher risk of miscarriage.
  • Corticosteroids have serious side effects including anxiety, depression and a steroid induced psychosis. Corticosteroids also interfere wit the cardiovascular system by causing salt (sodium) retention leading to water retention and high blood pressure (hypertension). Corticosteroids also interfere with the bodies fat dispersion, causing the face and torso to swell. Muscle wasting is a long term result. Diabetes (diabetes mellitus) is also caused by corticosteroids as they cause insulin resistance, and raised blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia). Steroid use can also induce a decrease in bone density (osteoporosis). Some doctors list ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease as a potential side effect of steroid use. The likelihood of cataracts and damage to the retina (retinopathy) are listed as a potential side effect. Infections, including fungal infections such as thrush (candidiasis), are more common as corticosteroids lower the immune system.

Effect of medications on Osteoarthritis

According to researchers with the Experimental Surgery Department, Research Institute and Orthopedic Institute (Bologna, Italy) along with Researchers at the University of Pisa, (Pisa, Italy), drugs are limited to treating symptoms and do not get to the root cause:

“Many drugs or substances have been recently introduced for the treatment of osteoarthritis including cyclooxyganes inhibitors, hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulfate, and glucosamine sulfate; however the majority of them can relieve pain and increase function, but do not modify the complex pathological processes that occur in these tissues, which are unable to balance undergoing catabolic and anabolic pathways . In addition, such therapy for osteoarthritis is unlikely to have a direct effect at the subchondral bone level….”
M. Fini, G. Giavaresi, A. Carpi ,A. Nicolini, S. Setti, R. Giardino, “Effects of pulsed electromagnetic fields on articular hyaline cartilage: review of experimental and clinical studies”, published in the Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy 2005.
The existing pharmacological interventions for arthritis offer only symptomatic relief and they are not definitive and curative.
Source: Low frequency pulsed electromagnetic field--a viable alternative therapy for arthritis,” Indian J Exp Biol. 2009 Dec;47(12):939-48. Department of Biotechnology, Central Leather Research Institute, Adyar, Chennai 600 020, India

PEMF and Bone Rebuilding

PEMF works at a cellular level. All the cells are affected and the body’s systems, which deliver oxygen and nutrients while removing toxins, are enhanced. This revitalization results in the body’s components being able to perform the tasks they were designed for with optimal efficiency. The bone structure within the body gives us form, but it also houses the marrow, which is the factory where blood cells are produced.

Osteoblast cells, (bone germination cells), produce bone matter.   Osteoblast cells work together as a group called the osteon and produce the calcium and phosphate-based minerals which are deposited into the organic matrix forming the strong and dense mineralized tissue called the mineralized matrix. Bones are comprised of a composite material made up of both collagen and minerals which give them tensile and compressive strength. Bone cells are constantly being regenerated by the osteoblast cells.   PEMF can help heal and strengthen bones as it induces micro currents which stimulate the osteoblast cells to produce bone matter. This is critical to healing especially with those suffering from arthritis and osteoporosis.

cartilage regrowth in the knee

Cartilage Regrowth

Cartilage is the flexible connective tissue found in many areas of the human body. It is located in joints between bones, in the rib cage, the ears, nose, bronchial tubes and inter-vertebral disks. Cartilage does not contain blood vessels and therefore is difficult to heal.

Injuries often affect the cartilage, but also joints will simply wear out over time, giving way to osteoarthritis where the cartilage is thinned out as shown on the left in the diagram below.

PEMF has been shown to directly affect bone healing and cartilage regrowth. The pulsed electro-magnetic fields stimulate the cells responsible for regrowth. The X-ray below shows the knee of a 70 year old female who was experiencing extreme pain when walking because the cartilage had degenerated. PEMF encouraged cartilage growth between the bones (on right).

Healing for many injuries involving bone and cartilage can be assisted through PEMF energy medicine.

Research into PEMF and its effect on Arthritis

According researches with the Experimental Surgery Department, Research Institute and Orthopedic Institute (Bologna, Italy) along with Researchers at the University of Pisa, (Pisa, Italy), PEMF treatment can get to the root cause of the problem for arthritis sufferers:

There is a strong rationale supporting the in vivo use of biophysical stimulation with PEMF’s for treatment of osteoarthritis…. In 1994, the same authors [Trock DH, Bollet AJ, Markoll R.] performed a similar study on the effect of PEMFs in the treatment of patients with knee and cervical spine OA. They observed a strong placebo effect and variability from patient to patient, but they confirmed the statistically significant improvement in pain score, daily activity, knee tenderness and motion for PEMF-treated patients with knee OA. PEMF-treated patients with cervical spine involvement always had a significant improvement by the end of treatment and at follow up.
Cited Source: Trock DH, Bollet AJ,Markoll R. The effect of pulsed electromagnetic fields in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee and cervical spine. Report of randomized, double blind, placebo controlled trials. J Rheumatol 1994;21:1903–11.
In 2001, Pipitone and Scott performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study on the efficacy of PEMF stimulation in patients with symptomatic knee osteoartritis. At 6 weeks, patients were evaluated with different scores (Likert and Euro-Quality of Life). Paired analysis of the follow-up observations on each patient showed a significant improvement in the treated group with regards to pain and disability.
Cited Source: Pipitone N, Scott DL. Magnetic pulse treatment for knee osteoarthritis: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Curr Med Res Opin 2001;17(3):190–6.
Jacobson and Nicolakis observed that PEMF stimulation was safe, reduced impairment in activities of daily life and improved knee function in patients with chronic knee pain due to OA.
Cited Sources: Jacobson JI, Gorman R, Yamanashi WS, Saxena BB, Clayton L. Low-amplitude, extremely low frequency magnetic fields for the treatment of osteoarthritic knees: a double-blind clinical study. Aletr Ther Health Med 2001;7(5):54–64 (66–9); Nicolakis P, Kollmitzer J, Crevenna R, Bittner C, Erdogmus CB, Nicolakis J. Pulsed magnetic field therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee-a double-blind sham-controlled trial. Wien Klin Wochenschr 2002;114(15–16):678–84.

Main Report containing cited sources: M. Fini, G. Giavaresi, A. Carpi ,A. Nicolini, S. Setti, R. Giardino, “Effects of pulsed electromagnetic fields on articular hyaline cartilage: review of experimental and clinical studies”, published in the Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy 2005.
Low frequency pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) can provide noninvasive, safe and easy to apply method to treat pain, inflammation and dysfunctions associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) and PEMF has a long term record of safety. This review focuses on the therapeutic application of PEMF in the treatment of these forms of arthritis. The analysis of various studies (animal models of arthritis, cell culture systems and clinical trials) reporting the use of PEMF for arthritis cure has conclusively shown that PEMF not only alleviates the pain in the arthritis condition but it also affords chondroprotection, exerts anti-inflammatory action and helps in bone remodelling and this could be developed as a viable alternative for arthritis therapy.
Source: Low frequency pulsed electromagnetic field--a viable alternative therapy for arthritis,” Indian J Exp Biol. 2009 Dec;47(12):939-48. Department of Biotechnology, Central Leather Research Institute, Adyar, Chennai 600 020, India
Pulsed EMF (Electro-magnetic field) has been shown to be effective in relief of chronic pain associated with connective tissue injury (cartilage, tendon, ligaments and bone) and soft-tissue injuries associated with the joints. Both acute and chronic pain may be successfully treated with EMFs as an alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Relief from chronic pain due to osteoarthritis has been reported with treatment by EMFs.
Pilla AA. Mechanisms and Therapeutic Applications of Time-Varying and Static Magnetic Fields. Handbook of Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields Third Edition: Biological and Medical Aspects of Electromagnetic Fields, 2007. Barnes FS and Greenebaum B. editors, page 352.
“A meta-analysis was performed on randomized clinical trials using PEMF on soft tissues and joints. The results showed both PEMF and PRF were effective in accelerating healing of skin wounds, soft tissue injury and hair regrowth, as well as providing symptomatic relief in patients with osteoarthritis and other joint conditions. PEMF has been successfully used in the treatment of chronic pain associated with connective tissue (cartilage, tendon, ligaments and bone) injury and joint-associated soft tissue injury….

Great strides have been made in the use of PEMF for chronic and acute wound repair. It is often the only effective treatment for chronic wounds and has been chosen as the treatment of choice for post operative pain and edema reduction in plastic and reconstructive surgery. The advent of new more effective signals may even expand applications in bone repair. There is a significant emerging application for the treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.”
Arthur A. Pilla, Mechanisms and their Therapeutic Applicatino of Time-Varying and Static Magnetic Fields, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, Department of Orthopedics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029
“PEMF has been widely used successfully for Pain Relief, Arthritis, Sports Injuries, Osteoporosis, Backache, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Neuralgia, Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow), Fibromyalgia, Fracture Healing, Pseudo arthrosis, Rheumatic pain, Tendinitis, Low back pain, Wound healing and many other medical conditions including resolution of hemorroids and erectile dysfunction.”
Barry David Miller, M.D.
“In patients with symptomatic osteoarthritis of the knee, PMF treatment can reduce impairment in activities of daily life and improve knee function.”
(Nicolakis P, Kollmitzer J, Crevenna R, Bittner C, Erdogmus CB, Nicolakis J., Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, AKH Wien, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria).
PEMF has been shown to be effective in healing non-union fractures and stimulating the formation of new bone thus helping osteoporotic and patients with arthritis. In very short time periods it has been found that there has been significant increase of bone density. Thus decrease in pain, healing of existing fractures and preventing further fractures as bone density is restored. Bone density has been documented to increase by 5.1% in three months in one study….
Bone density has indeed increased in animal models and patients who are prone to osteoporosis after exposure to pulsed electromagnetic fields…. Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy can become one of the important methods of treating osteoporosis and other related bone diseases. It can be used as a first line of treatment in these conditions. It provides a noninvasive, safe and easy method to directly treat the site of the body concerned and can save many people from undergoing surgery.
Aroona Devi Mudoo and YU Le-hua reported in the Journal of Chinese Clinical Medicine, (Volume 5, No 4, April 2010)
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