Pulsed Magnetic Field Therapy (PMF)
Pulsed Magnetic Field Therapy (PMF), also referred to as Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) uses electrical energy to direct a series of magnetic pulses through injured tissue whereby each magnetic pulse induces a tiny electrical signal that stimulates cellular repair.
Healing, whether bone fractures or soft tissue follow very similar progressive stages:
1. Hemostasis: the blood clots, and blood vessels constrict to halt any further damage to the area. 2. Inflammation: pathogens and cell debris are removed, clearing the way for proper cell growth. 3. Collagen and in the case of bone fractures, cartilage and lamellar bone is deposited and formed. 4. In the final phase these new structures are remodeled to mimic the original formation.
But what does this have to do with PMF therapy? In order to understand how pulsed magnetic fields work, we need a basic understanding of how cells react either when we are in pain or have suffered a bone fracture or soft tissue damage. Each stage deals with cells and how they behave. Pulsed magnetic fields help increase cellular metabolism by positively influencing ion exchange within cells.
The keyword here is positively. What this means is that cells with a low concentration of sodium ions and high levels of potassium ions help maintain cell membrane potential – keeping the rest potential advantageous.
This benefits the healing process in several different ways: it stimulates tissue and increases blood flow, reduces swelling and speeds up hemostasis and inflammation allowing the body to move onto the rebuilding phase sooner. By moving the inflammation stage to the proliferative (soft tissue) or reparative (bone) phase it reduces pain which is most associated with inflammation.
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