Fibromyalgia

Clin J Pain. 2009 Oct;25(8):722-8.

Low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic field therapy in fibromyalgia: a randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled clinical study.

Sutbeyaz ST, Sezer N, Koseoglu F, Kibar S.

Fourth Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinic, Ankara Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Education and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey. ssutbeyaz@yahoo.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the clinical effectiveness of low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy for women with fibromyalgia (FM).

METHODS: Fifty-six women with FM, aged 18 to 60 years, were randomly assigned to either PEMF or sham therapy. Both the PEMF group (n=28) and the sham group (n=28) participated in therapy, 30 minutes per session, twice a day for 3 weeks. Treatment outcomes were assessed by the fibromyalgia Impact questionnaire (FIQ), visual analog scale (VAS), patient global assessment of response to therapy, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and Short-Form 36 health survey (SF-36), after treatment (at 4 wk) and follow-up (at 12 wk).

RESULTS: The PEMF group showed significant improvements in FIQ, VAS pain, BDI score, and SF-36 scale in all domains at the end of therapy. These improvements in FIQ, VAS pain, and SF-36 pain score during follow-up. The sham group also showed improvement were maintained on all outcome measures except total FIQ scores after treatment. At 12 weeks follow-up, only improvements in the BDI and SF-36 scores were present in the sham group.

CONCLUSION: Low-frequency PEMF therapy might improve function, pain, fatigue, and global status in FM patients.

Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2008 Jul;32(4):660-6. Epub 2008 May 28.

Effects of pulsed electromagnetic fields on postoperative pain: a double-blind randomized pilot study in breast augmentation patients.

Hedén P, Pilla AA.

Department of Plastic Surgery, Akademikliniken, Storängsvägen 10, 115 42, Stockholm, Sweden. per.heden@ak.se

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Postoperative pain may be experienced after breast augmentation surgery despite advances in surgical techniques which minimize trauma. The use of pharmacologic analgesics and narcotics may have undesirable side effects that can add to patient morbidity. This study reports the use of a portable and disposable noninvasive pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) device in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled pilot study. This study was undertaken to determine if PEMF could provide pain control after breast augmentation.

METHODS: Forty-two healthy females undergoing breast augmentation for aesthetic reasons entered the study. They were separated into three cohorts, one group (n = 14) received bilateral PEMF treatment, the second group (n = 14) received bilateral sham devices, and in the third group (n = 14) one of the breasts had an active device and the other a sham device. A total of 80 breasts were available for final analysis. Postoperative pain data were obtained using a visual analog scale (VAS) and pain recordings were obtained twice daily through postoperative day (POD) 7. Postoperative analgesic medication use was also followed.

RESULTS: VAS data showed that pain had decreased in the active cohort by nearly a factor of three times that for the sham cohort by POD 3 (p < 0.001), and persisted at this level to POD 7. Patient use of postoperative pain medication correspondingly also decreased nearly three times faster in the active versus the sham cohorts by POD 3 (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, adjunctive to standard of care, can provide pain control with a noninvasive modality and reduce morbidity due to pain medication after breast augmentation surgery.

Pain Res Manag. 2007 Winter;12(4):249-58.

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial using a low-frequency magnetic field in the treatment of musculoskeletal chronic pain.

Thomas AW, Graham K, Prato FS, McKay J, Forster PM, Moulin DE, Chari S.

Bioelectromagnetics, Imaging Program, Lawson Health Research Institute, Department of Medical Biophysics, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada. athomas@lawsonimaging.ca

Abstract

Exposure to a specific pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) has been shown to produce analgesic (antinociceptive) effects in many organisms. In a randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled clinical trial, patients with either chronic generalized pain from fibromyalgia (FM) or chronic localized musculoskeletal or inflammatory pain were exposed to a PEMF (400 microT) through a portable device fitted to their head during twice-daily 40 min treatments over seven days. The effect of this PEMF on pain reduction was recorded using a visual analogue scale. A differential effect of PEMF over sham treatment was noticed in patients with FM, which approached statistical significance (P=0.06) despite low numbers (n=17); this effect was not evident in those without FM (P=0.93; n=15). PEMF may be a novel, safe and effective therapeutic tool for use in at least certain subsets of patients with chronic, nonmalignant pain. Clearly, however, a larger randomized, double-blind clinical trial with just FM patients is warranted.

Pain Res Manag. 2006 Summer;11(2):85-90.

Exposure to a specific pulsed low-frequency magnetic field: a double-blind placebo-controlled study of effects on pain ratings in rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia patients.

Shupak NM, McKay JC, Nielson WR, Rollman GB, Prato FS, Thomas AW.

Lawson Health Research Institute, St. Joseph’s Health Care, London, Ontario N6A 4V2.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Specific pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs) have been shown to induce analgesia (antinociception) in snails, rodents and healthy human volunteers.

OBJECTIVE: The effect of specific PEMF exposure on pain and anxiety ratings was investigated in two patient populations.

DESIGN: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled parallel design was used.

METHOD: The present study investigated the effects of an acute 30 min magnetic field exposure (less than or equal to 400 microTpk; less than 3 kHz) on pain (McGill Pain Questionnaire [MPQ], visual analogue scale [VAS]) and anxiety (VAS) ratings in female rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (n=13; mean age 52 years) and fibromyalgia (FM) patients (n=18; mean age 51 years) who received either the PEMF or sham exposure treatment.

RESULTS: A repeated measures analysis revealed a significant pre-post-testing by condition interaction for the MPQ Pain Rating Index total for the RA patients, F(1,11)=5.09, P<0.05, estimate of effect size = 0.32, power = 0.54. A significant pre-post-effect for the same variable was present for the FM patients, F(1,15)=16.2, P<0.01, estimate of effect size = 0.52, power =0.96. Similar findings were found for MPQ subcomponents and the VAS (pain). There was no significant reduction in VAS anxiety ratings pre- to post-exposure for either the RA or FM patients.

CONCLUSION: These findings provide some initial support for the use of PEMF exposure in reducing pain in chronic pain populations and warrants continued investigation into the use of PEMF exposure for short-term pain relief.

Neurosci Lett. 2001 Aug 17;309(1):17-20.

A comparison of rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia patients and health controls exposed to a pulsed (200 microT) magnetic field: effects on normal standing balance.

Thomas AW, White KP, Drost DJ, Cook CM, Prato FS.

The Lawson Health Research Institute, Department of Nuclear Medicine & MR, St. Joseph’s Health Care, 268 Grosvenor Street, London, N6A 4V2, Ontario, Canada. athomas@lawsonimaging.ca

Specific weak time varying pulsed magnetic fields (MF) have been shown to alter animal and human behaviors, including pain perception and postural sway. Here we demonstrate an objective assessment of exposure to pulsed MF’s on Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Fibromyalgia (FM) patients and healthy controls using standing balance. 15 RA and 15 FM patients were recruited from a university hospital outpatient Rheumatology Clinic and 15 healthy controls from university students and personnel. Each subject stood on the center of a 3-D forceplate to record postural sway within three square orthogonal coil pairs (2 m, 1.75 m, 1.5 m) which generated a spatially uniform MF centered at head level. Four 2-min exposure conditions (eyes open/eyes closed, sham/MF) were applied in a random order. With eyes open and during sham exposure, FM patients and controls appeared to have similar standing balance, with RA patients worse. With eyes closed, postural sway worsened for all three groups, but more for RA and FM patients than controls. The Romberg Quotient (eyes closed/eyes open) was highest among FM patients. Mixed design analysis of variance on the center of pressure (COP) movements showed a significant interaction of eyes open/closed and sham/MF conditions [F=8.78(1,42), P<0.006]. Romberg Quotients of COP movements improved significantly with MF exposure [F=9.5(1,42), P<0.005] and COP path length showed an interaction approaching significance with clinical diagnosis [F=3.2(1,28), P<0.09]. Therefore RA and FM patients, and healthy controls, have significantly different postural sway in response to a specific pulsed MF.

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