PILOT STUDY: PULSED ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELD (PEMF) ALLEVIATES SYMPTOMS OF OSTEOARTHRITIS
WHAT IS ARTHRITIS?
Arthritis is a degenerative disease characterized by joint pain . People suffering from severe forms of arthritis experience an impaired quality of life and are faced with few treatment options that provide long-term relief . The most common types of
arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, the former of which is the focus of this pilot study.
Osteoarthritis is a dynamic but gradual disease that can ultimately lead to loss of joint function or significant disablement [3,4]. Currently, there is no cure for arthritis, and treatment options focus mainly on symptom management .
Traditional options for treating arthritis include oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), acetaminophen, and corticosteroid injections; which come with side effects such
as abdominal pain and damage to central organs [5-7]. Nonpharmacological treatments include diet management to reduce strain on the joints, exercise to improve mobility, splints and joint protection techniques, hot and cold therapy, chiropractics, physiotherapy, acupuncture and more invasive treatments like surgery [1,6]. The relative lack of viable long-term nonpharmacological treatments for arthritis combined with the risks of drug therapy provided the motivation for this study, especially since past studies involving pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMFT) have found no adverse effects on the body, even after
prolonged use .
PEMF AND OSTEOARTHRITIS
PEMF technology was officially approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1979 and has been used to help various ailments and illnesses for the past 50 years . PEMF was originally used to aid in the healing of non-union bone fractures and is now used to help rotator cuff tendinitis, peripheral nerve regeneration, and various other illnesses and ailments of the bone and ligaments causing pain and swelling . Since PEMF has been recognized to improve circulation and promote healing of inflammation-related pain , it shows promise as a medium for arthritis. Using PEMF for patients with arthritis is not common practice [1,6]. MagnaWave digital machines have been approved by Health Canada. This study attempts to determine if PEMFT (provided by the Centurion EZY System) can alleviate symptoms of arthritis such as pain, swelling, and immobility, based on a combination of
subjective and objective tests.
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