For questions call: +1 (917) 972-7460

Arthritis and PEMF Pulsed ElectroMagnetic Fields Therapy

Most conventional day-to-day treatments for arthritis, e.g., the anti-inflammatories and “pain killers” are simply helping with symptoms. In the long-term they may even worsen the arthritis, because of the basic underlying actions of these medications. Their anti-inflammatory actions also have important immune suppressant effects – for example, significantly reducing the body’s levels of vitamin C, among others.  Some supplements are more than symptom modifiers. They are structure modifiers – as are magnetic fields. This means nutritional supplements are likely in the long term to actually improve the joints, without causing long term joint deterioration. The combination of these agents and magnetic fields even better, since magnetic fields enhance absorption of medications by the gut and through cell membranes to where they need to do their work.

There are no cures for most forms of arthritis. It is the one of the most frustrating conditions for physicians to deal with. The most common treatments are painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications which have many side effects, can damage kidneys, stomachs and livers and have the risk of addiction. The key issue in managing it is delaying or stopping progression, reducing severity and improving function without toxicity or side effects or resorting to invasive procedures. Arthritis is one of the most responsive conditions to magnetic therapies. If someone says magnetic therapy doesn’t work for their arthritis, they are probably not using the right magnetic field or are not using it right. In my experience almost everyone benefits.

Arthritis, which is inflammation of a joint, is usually a progressive and chronic condition and can cause a range of symptoms: pain, swelling, joint stiffness, decreased mobility, decreased strength, thickening around joints, loss of cartilage, inflammation, osteophytes and the risk of infection. As result of the chronic pain and dysfunction, it additionally causes depression, insomnia, stress and disability.  All joints in the body can be involved. Depending on the cause, some joints are more likely than others to be affected. Almost all people have some arthritis, which is more common and obvious as we get older and involves many joints. The most common locations for arthritis are: hands, spine, knees, hips, and shoulders.

Two main forms of arthritis: degenerative and inflammatory.

Inflammatory causes, particularly autoimmune conditions, including rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis, lupus, etc., are more complicated to manage and are often more damaging. These types are also more prone to wax and wane based on emotional, environmental, nutritional and infectious stresses. So, daily stress reduction is critical for repair and decreasing progression. They are also more likely to benefit from supplements supporting anti-oxidant functions.

Degenerative arthritis, also called osteoarthritis, the most common form, is usually caused by wear and tear (repetitive stress) or excess loads. The joint stress wears out the cartilage. The body tries to repair it by inducing inflammation and swelling with bone or calcium build up at the joint margins. This results in nodules in the joints – especially seen in the hands. This type is usually very slowly progressive. Injuries involving joints will often result in arthritis years later. New information suggests that running high blood sugar levels predisposes to osteoarthritis.

Allergies, infections or deposits of crystals cause other forms of arthritis, such as in gout.

How can magnetic Field treatment help with Arthritis?

Treatment Goals
One should always attempt to remove the cause or progression may not be halted, even with magnetic therapy. The MF treatments will work at the energy level, on the acupuncture system and systemic levels as well as directly on the cells themselves. Appropriate basic conventional support is still needed, like stretching, heat, ice, braces, etc. Use of medications is often significantly reduced when MF therapy is used regularly.

The primary goals are to reduce:

  • pain
  • edema
  • joint stiffness
  • thickening around the joints
  • loss of cartilage
  • inflammation
  • osteophytes
  • increase mobility and
  • increase strength.

The secondary goals are to assist with:

  • sleep
  • depression
  • irritability and
  • stress.

As a result dependence on medications should be less and make the likelihood of surgery less.

The expected time interval for seeing benefits will depend on the cause and its removal, how much arthritis there is in the body, how deep it is, the severity and how long it was present and adherence to other good treatments.

Research Links

Results: 1 to 20 of 24
1. Effects of pulsed electromagnetic field on knee osteoarthritis: a systematic review.
Ryang We S, Koog YH, Jeong KI, Wi H.
Rheumatology (Oxford). 2012 Apr 13. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 22504115 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

2.Non-invasive electromagnetic field therapy produces rapid and substantial pain reduction in early knee osteoarthritis: a randomized double-blind pilot study.
Nelson FR, Zvirbulis R, Pilla AA.
Rheumatol Int. 2012 Mar 27. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 22451021 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

3.Therapeutic effects of whole-body devices applying pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF): A systematic literature review.
Hug K, Röösli M.
Bioelectromagnetics. 2011 Sep 21. doi: 10.1002/bem.20703. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 21938735 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

4.Chondroprotective effects of pulsed electromagnetic fields on human cartilage explants.
Ongaro A, Pellati A, Masieri FF, Caruso A, Setti S, Cadossi R, Biscione R, Massari L, Fini M, De Mattei M.
Bioelectromagnetics. 2011 Oct;32(7):543-51. doi: 10.1002/bem.20663. Epub 2011 Mar 15.
PMID: 21412809 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

5.Effects of pulsed electromagnetic fields on cartilage apoptosis signalling pathways in ovariectomised rats.
Li S, Luo Q, Huang L, Hu Y, Xia Q, He C.
Int Orthop. 2011 Dec;35(12):1875-82. Epub 2011 Mar 15.
PMID: 21404022 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

6.Additional effect of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy on knee osteoarthritis treatment: a randomized, placebo-controlled study.
Ozgüçlü E, Cetin A, Cetin M, Calp E.
Clin Rheumatol. 2010 Aug;29(8):927-31. Epub 2010 May 16.
PMID: 20473540 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

7.Low frequency pulsed electromagnetic field–a viable alternative therapy for arthritis.
Ganesan K, Gengadharan AC, Balachandran C, Manohar BM, Puvanakrishnan R.
Indian J Exp Biol. 2009 Dec;47(12):939-48. Review.
PMID: 20329696 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

8.The effects of pulsed electromagnetic fields in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial.
Ay S, Evcik D.
Rheumatol Int. 2009 Apr;29(6):663-6. Epub 2008 Nov 18.
PMID: 19015858 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

9.A programmable ramp waveform generator for PEMF exposure studies on chondrocytes.
Jahns M, Durdle N, Lou E, Raso VJ.
Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2006;1:3230-3.
PMID: 17946168 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

10.The effect of pulsed electromagnetic fields on chondrocyte morphology.
Jahns ME, Lou E, Durdle NG, Bagnall K, Raso VJ, Cinats D, Barley RD, Cinats J, Jomha NM.
Med Biol Eng Comput. 2007 Oct;45(10):917-25. Epub 2007 Aug 14.
PMID: 17701237 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

11.[Pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF)–results in evidence based medicine].
Pieber K, Schuhfried O, Fialka-Moser V.
Wien Med Wochenschr. 2007 Jan;157(1-2):34-6. Review. German.
PMID: 17471830 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

12.Effect of pulsed electromagnetic field stimulation on knee cartilage, subchondral and epyphiseal trabecular bone of aged Dunkin Hartley guinea pigs.
Fini M, Torricelli P, Giavaresi G, Aldini NN, Cavani F, Setti S, Nicolini A, Carpi A, Giardino R.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2008 Dec;62(10):709-15. Epub 2007 Apr 3.
PMID: 17459652 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

13.Pulsed electromagnetic energy treatment offers no clinical benefit in reducing the pain of kneeosteoarthritis: a systematic review.
McCarthy CJ, Callaghan MJ, Oldham JA.
BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2006 Jun 15;7:51. Review.
PMID: 16776826 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

14.Pulsed electromagnetic fields reduce knee osteoarthritic lesion progression in the aged Dunkin Hartley guinea pig.
Fini M, Giavaresi G, Torricelli P, Cavani F, Setti S, Canè V, Giardino R.
J Orthop Res. 2005 Jul;23(4):899-908. Epub 2005 Mar 17.
PMID: 16023006 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

15.The effect of pulsed electromagnetic fields in the treatment of cervical osteoarthritis: a randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled trial.
Sutbeyaz ST, Sezer N, Koseoglu BF.
Rheumatol Int. 2006 Feb;26(4):320-4. Epub 2005 Jun 29.
PMID: 15986086 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

16.Treatment of knee osteoarthritis with pulsed electromagnetic fields: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.
Thamsborg G, Florescu A, Oturai P, Fallentin E, Tritsaris K, Dissing S.
Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2005 Jul;13(7):575-81.
PMID: 15979009 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

17.Modification of osteoarthritis by pulsed electromagnetic field–a morphological study.
Ciombor DM, Aaron RK, Wang S, Simon B.
Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2003 Jun;11(6):455-62.
PMID: 12801485 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

18.Magnetic pulse treatment for knee osteoarthritis: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.
Pipitone N, Scott DL.
Curr Med Res Opin. 2001;17(3):190-6.
PMID: 11900312 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

19.Electromagnetic fields for the treatment of osteoarthritis.
Hulme J, Robinson V, DeBie R, Wells G, Judd M, Tugwell P.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2002;(1):CD003523. Review.
PMID: 11869668 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

20.The use of pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) in osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee preliminary report.
Danao-Camara T, Tabrah FL.
Hawaii Med J. 2001 Nov;60(11):288, 300. No abstract available.
PMID: 11797493 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


This study revealed that experimentally induced inflammation and suppressed arthritis in rats was significantly inhibited as a result.

Y. Mizushima, et al., “Effects of Magnetic Field on Inflammation,” Experientia, 31(12), December 15, 1975, p.1411-1412.

Double blind, placebo-controlled research study on the effects of pulsed electrical fields over a 4-week period showed significant improvement in patients.

J.C. Reynolds, “The Use of Implantable Direct Current Stimulation in Bone Grafted Foot and Ankle Arthrodeses: A Retrospective Review,” Second World Congress for Electricity and Magnetism in Biology and Medicine, 8-13 June 1997, Bologna, Italy.

Review article on the treatment of patients with psoriatic arthritis with magnetic fields, the authors state that an alternating low-frequency magnetic field improves the clinical state of afflicted joints.

V.D. Grigor’eva, et al., “Therapeutic Use of Physical Factors in Complex Therapy of Patients with Psoriatic

Arthritis,” Vopr Kurortol Fizioter Lech Fiz Kult, (6), 1995, p. 48-51

Study on juveniles suffering from rheumatoid arthritis examined effects of low-frequency magnetic fields. The three groups showed 58%, 76%, 37% percent beneficial effects from the treatment.

E.A. Shlyapok, et al., “Use of Alternating Low-Frequency Magnetic Fields in Combination with Radon Baths for Treatment of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis,” Vopr Kurortol Fizioter Lech Fiz Kult, 4, 1992, p. 13-17.

Low frequency magnetic fields in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthrosis was the focus of this study. Patients with stages 1 & 2 rheumatoid arthritis as well as patients with osteoarthrosis deformans, showed the beneficial effects from treatments..

V.D. Grigor’eva, et al., “Therapeutic Application of Low-Frequency and Constant Magnetic Fields in Patients with Osteoarthritis Deformans and Rheumatoid Arthritis,” Vopr Kurortol Fizioter Lech Fiz Kult, 4, 1980, p. 29-35.