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PEMF Therapy for Low Back Pain relief

08/22/2022 11:23:00 am
PEMF Therapy for Low Back Pain relief

If you have chronic low back pain, you are not alone. Up to 80% of adults face the musculoskeletal disorder at some point in their lives.

Accordingly to the clinical studies, low back pain is the second common neurological ailment in the US, second only to headache.

Age-related degeneration of intervertebral disc starts as early as in the second decade of life, - clinical studies say [1]. Further those microscopic intervertebral disc alterations turns into chronic back pain. Some pain syndromes can become more serious if left untreated.

Low back pain is among the causes of job-related disability in the US and a leading contributor to missed work when it comes to working population. As many as 25% of individuals with low back pain are symptomatic at 12 months, in contradistinction to the belief of resolution of pain in 2 months. Accordingly to the US National Library of Medicine men and women are equally affected with the pain and the average age of the affected being from 30 to 50 years . [2]

Usually serve back pain is mechanical in nature which is result of trauma to the lower back or disorder such as arthritis. Besides job-related injuries, pain from trauma may be sports injury, work injury including that around the house or in the garden, car accidents, or stress (note: we have mentioned above some age- related reasons of the pain)

The pain might be accompanies by the following symptoms: muscle ache to shooting or stabbing pain, limited flexibility and/or range of motion, or an inability to stand straight.

Some conditions associated with Low Back Pain

There are many causes of low back pain. Sprains, strains, muscle spasm, fractures, arthritis and degenerative disc disorders are among the causes of low back pain.

Further we enumerate some pain-associated conditions. People with these symptoms should contact a doctor to help prevent permanent damage.

  • Disc protrusion - usually occurs with trauma or age-related changes in the disc and can go unnoticed until irritation of nearby nerve roots occurs. This is the initial stage of osteochondrosis, preceding the formation of a hernia. Studies have shown that the most disc protrusion occurs in the lower, lumbar portion of the spinal column; less often in the cervical or thoracic. The peak incidence falls on the age period of 35-50 years. Women and men get sick equally often. The risk group for the development of pathology includes people who lead a sedentary lifestyle and have suffered spinal injuries.
  • Sciatica - Sciatica is also called sciatic neuralgia. Usually the pain appears in the buttocks and descends in a burning strip to the thigh in front and side, then down the back of the leg, reaching the foot and toes. Sometimes the pain stops in the knee. Often the pain occurs after physical activities like heavy lifting. The pain is often described as shooting. Sciatica almost never occurs in children and adolescents, the main patients with this diagnosis are older people. Typically, symptoms are only on one side of the body, мoreover, related to women - on the right side, related to men – mainly on the left side.
  • Spinal degeneration - disc wear and tear can lead to a narrowing of the spinal canal. There is degeneration of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. The condition may occur as a result of trauma, overload or deformation of the spine. Usually the pain attacks older people, but can also start in younger people. A person with spinal degeneration may experience stiffness in the back upon awakening or may feel pain after walking or standing for a long time.
  • Osteoporosis - Osteoporosis - a metabolic bone disease marked by progressive decrease in bone density and strength, which leads to a high risk of fractures. According to the statistics of the World Health Organization (WHO), this disease ranks fourth among other diseases of the elderly and senile age and every 3rd woman and every 5th man is affected by it. Caucasian women of northern European heritage are at the highest risk of developing the condition..

The intensity of low back pain can be reduced without surgery, but , in order to complete the treatment, visiting a doctor is highly recommended.

Treatment of back pain implies complex approach: analgesic drugs, physiotherapy activity and treatment and, sometimes, any healthy diet to boost bone density. We enumerate some groups of the therapy:

  • Self-Care - Most patients with back pain recover without residual functional loss. Patients should contact a doctor if there is not a noticeable reduction in pain and inflammation after 72 hours of self-care.

Ice and Heat: although ice and heat (the use of ice pack or warm compressor) have never been scientifically proven to quickly resolve orthopedic trauma or back injury, the compresses may help to reduce pain and inflammation that allows better mobility for some individuals.

The method: as soon as possible getting trauma, a patient should apply a cold pack / compress (for example, a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel) to the tender spot several times a day for up to 20 minutes. In 2 - 3 days of the cold treatment, it’s better to apply warm compress (for example a heating lamp or hot pad) to the tender spot for brief periods to relax muscles and increase blood flow. Warm baths may also help relax muscles. The patient should avoid sleeping on a heating pad, cause it may causes burns and lead to additional tissue damage.

Bed rest: from 1 to 2 days at most. Some studies says that people who continued any other physical activities without bed rest following onset of back pain appeared to have better back flexibility than those who rested in bed for a week.

Other studies found that bed rest alone may make back pain worse and can lead to secondary complications such as depression, decreased muscle tone, and blood clots in the legs. Patients should resume activities as soon as possible.

At night or during rest, patients should lie on one side, with a pillow between the knees (some doctors suggest resting on the back and putting a pillow beneath the knees).

Exercise: Only upon your doctor advice! Exercise may be the most effective way to speed recovery from low back pain. Maintaining and building muscle strength is particularly important for persons with skeletal irregularities. Doctors and physical therapists can provide a list of gentle exercises that help keep muscles moving and speed the recovery process. A routine of back-healthy activities may include stretching exercises, swimming, walking, and movement therapy to improve coordination and develop proper posture and muscle balance. Yoga is another way to gently stretch muscles and ease pain. Any mild discomfort felt at the start of these exercises should disappear as muscles become stronger. But if pain is more than mild and lasts more than 15 minutes during exercise, patients should stop exercising and contact a doctor.

  • Non-Invasive Therapies - as we have already mentioned, when treating back pain you may ( upon doctor’s advice) combine conventional approaches of the healing with the following options.
  • Spinal manipulation: is a therapy which implies use of the hands to apply force to manipulate the joints in the spine. This form of therapy aims to improve mobility to relieve ailments such as lower back pain.

    It’s also known as a “hands-on” approach for adjustment spinal structures and restore back mobility. There are some contraindications and the treatment must be conducted only by professionally licensed specialists.

    Acupuncture: acupuncture involves the insertion of needles the width of a human hair along precise points throughout the body. Practitioners believe this process triggers the release of naturally occurring painkilling molecules called peptides and keeps the body’s normal flow of energy unblocked. Some practitioners draw an analogy with conventional procedures in the treatment of acute low back pain.

    Ultrasound: ultrasound is a noninvasive therapy used to warm the body’s internal tissues, which causes muscles to relax. Sound waves pass through the skin and into the injured muscles and other soft tissues.

    Pulsed Electromagnetic Therapy :Pulsed Electromagnetic Therapy implies use of electronic fields to heal acute and chronic lower back pain. It’s a non-invasive stimulation that got approval as a treatment method from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and considered as wellness therapy.

    PEMF therapy seems to be able to relieve the pain intensity and improve functionality in individuals with low back pain conditions. [3]

    Most PEMF therapy devices have a frequency between 5 to 30 Hz range. Each PEMF treatment also only needs to be used for 10 to 20 minutes. The devices helps the human body fights a disease on its own , by stimulating cells to send signals in the body and trigger a healing effect.

    Though electric magnetic fields (EMFs) are found in other devices that could disrupt a person’s biology or DNA, the frequency of PEMF therapy devices is too minuscule to cause harm.

    Moreover, inductor coils in PEMF Therapy Devices by ELAMED are designed specifically to relieve pain, reduce muscle and joint stiffness in the affected areas of the human body.

    The devices by ELAMED can help to recover after a variety of musculoskeletal diseases, have different types of modes and can be used as an essential part of the complex treatment and as a self-acting device.


    1. Epidemiology, etiology, diagnostic evaluation, and treatment of low back pain by Borenstein D.
    2. Study of Low Level Laser Therapy to Treat Low Back Pain
    3. Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy effectiveness in low back pain: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials

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