Effects of Pulsed Magnetic Therapy
Pulsed magnetic therapy brings about 6 different types of effects to our bodies:
- Metabolism stimulating effects
- Vasodilation effects (better blood circulation)
- Myo-relaxing effects (skeletal muscle relief)
- Healing and recovery, anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic effects
- Pain-easing effects (analgesic)
- Anti-edema effects (anti-swelling)
Metabolism stimulating effects
When a low frequency pulsating magnetic field is applied evenly to the exposed tissues, a weak electric current is induced. The cell potential is changed, affecting cell membrane permeability, promoting blood circulation, oxygenation and nutrition, and resulting in better elimination of metabolic waste from the exposed tissues – which is the fundamental prerequisite of any healing process. It is the more intensive metabolism, the elimination of waste and detoxification that initiate all the healing and recovery processes. For instance, if a low frequency pulsating magnetic field applicator is placed close to the liver area, the function of the liver is stimulated and this accelerate and enhance the detoxification processes in the whole body. Local effects are best initiated by placing the applicator onto the affected part of the body or the area – the muscle, the joint, the backbone etc. Using a smaller applicator achieves a stronger local effect through a higher induction while using a larger applicator initiates a more extensive positive metabolism-stimulating effect.
Vasodilation Effects (better blood circulation)
The low frequency pulsed magnetic field affects erythrocyte (red blood cells) polarisation by means of a positive charge. As a result of a pulsed magnetic field therapy, the erythrocytes are re-dispersed and their capacity to bind oxygen is increased. The erythrocyte polarisation affects artery muscular tension, the arteries become broader (vasodilation) and that helps to supply the oxygenated blood and nutrients to the tissues and speeds up the elimination of toxic wastes. Low frequency pulsed magnetic therapy also stimulates erythrocyte plasticity. The more flexible erythrocytes are able to adapt to the ‘obstacles’ in the blood vessels much better. As a result of this therapy, the risk of blood clots is also reduced. In the course of this therapy, the parasympathetic nervous system is activated and the Ca2+ ions are effluxed, loosening the arterial muscles (especially the pre-capillary constrictors), resulting in vascular dilation. All these processes affect (harmonise) the function of the heart, blood circulation, and blood pressure. Low frequency pulsed magnetic therapy works well to combat ischemic heart disease and ischemic disease related to the lower and upper extremities, hard-to-treat varicose ulcers and various circulation deficiencies. Although the arteries that are already closed may not become passable again, the collateral blood flow throughout the skin and muscular tissues is considerably improved.
Myo-relaxing effects (skeletal muscle relief)
Pulsed magnetic therapy causes acidic metabolites to flow away faster because perfusion is enhanced and the activity of lactate-dehydrogenase is stimulated. This results in relief from painful irritation in the muscles and in parts suffering from chronic inflammation. Thus the pain is eased and painful muscle spasms are relieved. Considerable slower function of the nerve lines on the lower extremities are also observed in athletes which also contributes to the myo-relaxation of the muscles. Application of pulsed magnetic therapy to the back muscles have been observed to bring relief to many ailments, such as stiff cervical vertebrae, headaches, vertigo, poor hearing, poor mobility, shooting pain from the spine to the extremities, etc.
Healing and recovery, anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic effects
Supported with evidences both for bones and for soft tissues, the positive effects of pulsed magnetic therapy are due to (1) the non-specific cytoplasmic membrane irritation and (2) the consequent activation of the metabolic chain. For the metabolic chain, the change in the cAMP/cGMP ratio and the increased osteoclast activity are the main causes of quicker healing bones. Low frequency magnetic therapy significantly stimulates the healing process, activates the information of new tissues (faster growth of bone tissue and calcification), and leads to a higher sensibility to the parathormone ( a hormone secreted by the chief cells of the parathyroid glands as a polypeptide containing 84 amino acids). As a result, low frequency pulsed magnetic therapy is used to stimulate healing in the case of fractures, pseudo-arthrosis, and to reinforce loose and painful endoprostheses. Research shows that the level of proteoglycans in the cartilage is increased by up to 22%, supporting the healing process and cartilage regeneration. This accelerated healing has been proven not only with bones but with soft tissues as well. Pulsed magnetic therapy is also capable of having positive effect on inflammations, both sterile inflammation (rheumatic diseases) and microbial inflammation. For its effect on microbial inflammation, this therapy induces phagocytic activity, including superoxide production, which leads suppression of the microbial flora.
Pain-easing effects (analgesic)
Pulsed magnetic therapy triggers the generation of an electric current in the nerve fibres by magnetic induction. This induced current disables painful pulses moving from the source of the pain via the spinal cord into the brain centres, and together with enhanced endorphin production, suppression of inflammation and swelling, myo-relaxation, results in pain relief. The stimulated endorphin production and the regulation of calcium ions moving through the cell membrane contribute to vascular dilatation and the anagelsic effect and also bring along general pain relief.
Anti-edema effects (anti-swelling)
As pulsed magnetic therapy accelerates metabolism, swellings are absorbed faster within the exposed inflamed area. If the pulsed magnetic therapy applicators are placed on the affected part of the body (eg. in the case of a sprained ankle) for 30-45 minutes and repeated 3 times a day, considerable results can be achieved – great relief from swellings and pain.
Reference: 2008 Peter Bednarcik. Health and Magnetotherapy