Does Pulsed Electromagnetic Therapy Really Relieve Pain?

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With over 40 years of clinical study, this treatment is well researched and is commonly used. This technique empowers the body’s cells providing accelerated healing and improvement of the body’s innate regenerative abilities. Activation of cells via Pulsed Electromagnetic Frequency (PEMF) restores the body’s electromagnetic energy levels and can produce positive results including: increased cell metabolism and blood cell regeneration, improved circulation and oxygen carrying capacity, and reduced inflammation.

PEMF can be very beneficial in addition to other treatments for debilitating or painful conditions. Physicians have observed increased energy levels in patients as well as greater nutrient absorption, increased detoxification, and improved emotional health.

How does PEMF Work?

By utilizing targeted pulses of electromagnetism, cells are stimulated thereby improving their mechanical processes. When cells are optimally charged they hold about 70-110 millivolts of energy. While we are sick, cell voltage can drop below 50 millivolts. Reduced energy in the cell causes it to be incapable of self-repair and regeneration.

Additionally, when the cell doesn’t have energy it becomes sluggish and unable to complete its tasks efficiently. By stimulating damaged cells with a mild electromagnetic current they become revitalized and empowered. This means greater cell-regeneration, increased energy, and a reduction of oxidative stress. Maintaining healthy cells leads to overall better health.

There are four major components that make up these electrical signals; waveform, field strength, frequency, and resonance. These elements must be balanced in order to effectively and positively impact the body. They also require introduction into the body via the appropriate energy spectrum. Some describe this as a “biological window” wherein the body responds best to electromagnetic pulses while avoiding any negative effects.


In general, treatment is done using a bipolar wave meaning that there is a peak high and low point. Rise and fall time is the most critical element in the treatments efficacy. This is because the therapeutic value of a pulse is reliant on the speed in which the wave rises and falls. A sudden or quick fall time denotes an increased peak voltage value that causes ion displacement. With increased ion displacement comes increased biological impact.

Field Strength:

The flux or flow of an electromagnetic field relates to the intensity of a given wave. To determine the strength of a field, or amplitude, we have to look at meters (coil length), windings (number of turns in a coil), and the Ampères (the electrical current’s power).

In treatment, field strength is usually administered at a low level, which is adequate to achieve positive effects. By manipulating field strength certain effects can be promoted in the body such as stress reduction and improved oxygen delivery.


Frequencies are also referred to as “biological windows” which evoke specific responses from the body. Maintaining a frequency that rests within one of these windows promotes activity in the cells such as better nutrient intake and removal of waste from the cell. The impact of energy can in fact be more effective than chemical stimulation in some cases. It is known that with a higher frequency greater energy is delivered. However, it is important to remain within the “biological window” in order to have the best and safest results.


Utilizing the appropriate methods, we are able to produce cellular resonance. This is achieved by using the appropriate frequency causing resonant vibrations within the cell. By doing this, the cell is stimulated to enact a number of functions. Electromagnetic fields are capable of triggering all the cells in the body, aligning their resonance. Ultimately this causes greater intercellular communication and intracellular interactions.

Specific Interactions

Many benefits come with PEMF treatment. However, the greatest improvements have appeared in patients with poor blood values, severe gut and/or joint inflammation, and high acidity. There are several connections between PEMF and bodily processes.

Cellular/Bone Growth and Repair:

Many tissues benefit from the increased activity and efficacy brought on through PEMF. These include bones, the spine, cartilage, intestines, blood vessels, nerves, muscles, and the brain.

Bone growth and quickened healing of non-union fractures is another benefit of this treatment. Utilizing piezoelectric current in damaged bone causes accelerated healing of the area. This means of treatment was approved by the FDA for treatment of patients in the United States in 1979.

Pain Management and Circulation:

By activating and restoring energy to cells PEMF therapy is able to reduce pain by decreasing inflammation, increasing cellular flexibility, increasing blood and lymph circulation, and increasing tissue oxygenation. This treatment is applicable for both long-term and short-term relief.

By fully charging our cells, the release of pain and inflammatory mediators is reduced or stopped entirely. This in turn reduces swelling and inflammation. Reducing inflammation allows for increased blood flow as well as improved oxygen intake and cell transference. Better circulation allows for faster recovery with less swelling and pain. Increased oxygenation also allows for improved defense against toxins and infections.

Blood vessel and blood flow benefit from the mechanical stimulation using PEMF. This is made possible through detoxification of the blood stream, which is promoted by this treatment. The mechanical stimulation by PEMF activates lymphatic vessels, causing waste to be removed from the cells with greater efficiency, thus allowing our cells to work at their best. The immune system also benefits from PEMF, which may assist in combatting conditions such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease.

Brain Health:

The brain is a complex web of interactions. Correcting electrical signals and chemical imbalances promotes clearer thinking and possibly improved mood. In PEMF, an electrical current is sent into the brain, stimulating the cells (neurons) of a specific region. This stimulation causes the neurons in that region to fire which can resolve an electrical malfunction in the area and allow the brain to begin repairs.

General Benefits

General benefits of this treatment include:

  • Reduced pain
  • Reduced inflammation
  • IncreasedrRange of motion
  • Faster functional recovery
  • Reduced muscle loss after surgery
  • Increased tensile strength in ligaments
  • Faster healing of skin wounds
  • Enhanced capillary formation
  • Accelerated nerve regeneration
  • Reduced tissue necrosis

General Areas of Treatment

  • Bones, joint, muscles: arthritis, sprains, bursitis, osteoporosis, post-surgical wound healing, jaw/tooth disease
  • Skin and connective tissue: Diabetic Ulcers, radiation and thermal burns, surgical incisions, muscle firming, reduction of wrinkles
  • Organs: Heart, lungs, liver, kidney, prostate, uterus, etc.
  • Brain: Memory, concentration, depression, Parkinson’s, ADHD, and mental focus

PEMF is useful in relieving many everyday pains and common ailments. If you are regularly afflicted with discomfort or need relief in a specific area, it may be worthwhile exploring PEMF therapy.

About Holtorf Medical Group

The Holtorf Medical Group specializes in optimizing quality of life and being medical detectives to uncover the underlying cause of symptoms, rather than just prescribing medications to cover-up the symptoms. We are experts in natural, prescription bioidentical hormone replacement and optimization, complex endocrine dysfunction, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and Lyme disease.

We’ve dedicated our practice to providing you the best in evidenced-based, integrative medicine that’s not only safe and effective, but provides measurable results.