Electromagnetic pulses significantly decrease pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis of the knee, Henry Ford Hospital researchers have claimed.
In the double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled study, 34 patients used a portable battery-operated device that emits a low-intensity pulsating electromagnetic frequency and experienced more than 40 percent pain relief on their first day.
"Our results show pulsed electromagnetic fields caused a significant decrease in pain" says Fred Nelson, M.D., associate program director for research and director of the Osteoarthritis Center, Department of Orthopaedics, Henry Ford Hospital.
Dr. Nelson will present the results this week at the Orthopaedic Research Society's annual meeting in New Orleans.
The expert explains that in the laboratory, electromagnetic signals have been shown to decrease calcium in cartilage cells. This sets off a series of chemical events that can lead to reduced inflammation. Previously, the electromagnetic fields have been used to control pain related to cosmetic surgery.
"We are really fine-tuning what we are doing to the cell environment with a very specific pulse sequence and frequency," says Dr. Nelson.