Headaches Studied With PEMF ElectroMagnetic Therapy
Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy benefits Migraines and headache disorders. Studies show that migraine pain is associated with uneven distribution of blood flow in the brain. PEMF therapy improves blood circulation and dilates blood vessels in the brain as we will learn in this article.
Migraines manifest as an excruciating headache that results in extreme nausea and sensitivity to even the smallest disturbance of light and sounds to our senses. They are the third most common health condition in the world, crippling millions of people around the world and limiting them to their beds until it subsides.
Research on the topic suggests that migraines are likely caused by abnormal brain activity, hormonal changes, emotional changes, or even physiological changes such as a decrease in blood pressure. There is strong evidence that supports the use of PEMF therapy for treating migraines.
Pulse Electromagnetic Field therapy can be applied in the same way as its cousin TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation). TMS is nothing but a focused high-intensity PEMFs applied to areas of the brain. Just as TMS, the prophylactic effects, of PEMF therapy can reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.
PEMF use is much more convenient as the applicators (pillows or mats) cover larger areas of the body and the brain and so is definitely a more affordable long-term option. Compared to TMS, there are many more benefits of using PEMF therapy, much beyond the scope of this article.
How Does Pulse Electromagnetic Field Therapy Help Migraines?
Several studies and some trials have been conducted on the benefits of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy for migraine treatment.
In a randomized clinical trial by the Headache Journal in 1994, participants were given one-hour sessions of PEMF five days a week for two weeks and were asked to keep a log of migraine frequency following the intervention. Of the participants who received the PEMF therapy, 73 percent of the participants reported a decrease in the number of migraines they experienced. The study concluded that PEMF is effective in improving the circulation of blood to the brain which can cause migraines and improve cognitive function.
Low frequency pulsed electromagnetic fields allow the muscles, nerves, and blood vessels to relax. The relaxation of the body can allow the blood to flow more effectively to the brain which can reduce to the frequency of migraines and provide relief. Because of this, PEMF is a great way to treat migraines.
PEMF therapy is simple to apply in the daily routine. With its powerful hormone balancing effect, PEMF therapy is a viable way to treat the problem and not the symptoms.
Neurofeedback, neuro-rehabilitation and neuromodulation practitioners and clinics will find a great improvement in their clients well-being by introducing PEMF therapy.
Shekelle, P. G., Cook, I. A., Miake-Lye, I. M., Booth, M. S., Beroes, J. M., & Mak, S. (2018). Benefits and Harms of Cranial Electrical Stimulation for Chronic Painful Conditions, Depression, Anxiety, and Insomnia: A Systematic Review. Annals of Internal Medicine, 168(6), 414-421. Though not focused solely on PEMF, this systematic review assessed the benefits and harms of cranial electrical stimulation for chronic painful conditions, including headaches. The authors found limited evidence suggesting that cranial electrical stimulation, which includes technologies like PEMF, might be effective for treating pain in some individuals. However, the quality of the evidence was low, and more research is needed.
Thomas, A. W., Graham, K., Prato, F. S., McKay, J., Forster, P. M., Moulin, D. E., & Chari, S. (2007). A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial using a low-frequency magnetic field in the treatment of musculoskeletal chronic pain. Pain Research & Management, 12(4), 249-258. In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, the authors investigated the effects of low-frequency PEMF therapy on musculoskeletal chronic pain. While the study did not specifically focus on headaches or migraines, the authors found that PEMF therapy significantly reduced pain in the active treatment group compared to the placebo group, suggesting that PEMF might be a useful non-pharmacological intervention for managing chronic pain conditions.