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Electromagnetic Treatment Promising for Knee Osteoarthritis

March 08, 2010  

Source: Henry Ford Health System

A new study from the Henry Ford Health Center says electromagnetic pulses could significantly reduce knee pain and inflammation. For patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, this new device could mean a world of difference in pain management and mobility.

The small, double-blind study focused on 34 participants who used the battery-operated device to try out its low-intensity electromagnetic frequency on their knees. All of the participants were "given a device with a coil that appeared to work but some were assigned active coils and others were given non-active coils." The pulsating from the device offered pain relief for more than 40% of the first day of treatment for patients.

One of the best elements to this new treatment is the absence of side-effects. The lightweight devices are easy to use and comfortable as they can be placed over the user's clothing. In addition, the cost is reasonably low in the long run and the pain relief is immediate for patients, according to the program director for research at the Osteoarthritis Center at Henry Ford Hospital. He went on to say, “We look at electromagnetic pulses as a potential way to improve quality of life and independence for those who suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee.”

The pulses may work because they reduce the level of calcium within cartilage cells and work to reduce inflammation. Right now researchers are still working to improve how the electromagnetic pulses affect cells. Patients who tried the devices wore them for 15 minutes, two times a day, for the duration of six weeks. Patients, according to the study, felt a significant pain relief. Study findings were reported at the annual meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society this month in New Orleans. Device developers, Ivivi Health Sciences, funded the study. In the future, these devices may be able to provide safe, effective pain management in lieu of medications.

Would you try these electromagnetic devices? Join the Osteoarthritis discussions in the Knee1 Forum


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