Applications and studies of PEMF therapy

More than 10,000 scientific articles have been published on the effects of PEMF. Many of the first studies were conducted in Russia and Eastern Europe. Worldwide, more than 2,000 double-blind studies have shown that PEMF therapy is a safe and effective treatment for a variety of mood disorders and also maintains holistic health and cellular function.

1. Bone, Fracture and Wound care.

According to a 1993 publication, 250,000 patients alone have been successfully treated for bone and wound healing disorders. Pulsating magnetic field therapy in this area is now one of the officially recognized healing methods in the USA. In contrast to the German Medical Devices Act, which only covers the quality of a medical device, the American FDA (Food and Drug Administration) explicitly requires proof of efficacy.


Osteoporosis is one of the most common diseases of our time. It is estimated that up to 15% of the population – or nearly 12 million people – have more or less pronounced osteoporosis

20 female osteoporosis patients, 12 weeks of magnetic field treatment.

Significant increase in bone density during treatment. After 36 weeks, bone density decreased again. Follow-up measurement after 8 years showed no difference from untreated women. (1,2)

1 Tabrah et al, J Bone Miner Res 1990 May; 5(5):437-42
2 Tabrah et al, Bioelectromagnetics 1998; 19(2): 75-8


In 1992, Gossling (3) found 44 publications on tibia fractures alone. The healing rate with magnetic field therapy was 81% compared to 82% with surgery, which is remarkable because in many cases no healing is possible without surgery.

3 Gossling et al, Orthopedics 1992 Jun; 15(6): 711-19

20 experimental animals. Single blind study. 9-day treatment of a fracture.

Significant acceleration of healing compared to placebo group.

13 patients: Non-operatively treated fractures: field strength between 10 – 100 µT.

11 complete healings. In the two fractures that did not fuse, the distance between the ends of the bones was 1 cm!


Non-healing or delayed healing of bone fractures.

44 hand fractures (scaphoid fractures). No chance of healing for 40 months. (4)

Healed under magnetic field after 4.3 months.

4 Frykman et al, J Hand Surg (Am) 1986 May; 11 (3):344-9

91 tibial pseudoarthroses (5)

Average healing rate 72%. Breakdown: Type 1 (“easiest case”) with 88%, type 2 with 80%, and type 3 with 19%.

5 Basset + Schin-Ascani, Calcif Tissue Int 1991 Sp; 49(3): 216-20

Non-healing fractures of the foot (metatarsal V) (6)

Healing after a mean of 3 months (2-4 months). At the 39-month follow-up, none of the healed bones had re-fractured.

6 Holmes GB, Foot Ankle Int 1994 Oct; 15(10): 552-6

Vertebral Fusion (Spondylodesis)

Spondylodesis is the fusion of a portion of the spine. It is considered the ultima ratio for conditions such as scoliosis, ankylosing spondylitis, spondylitis, spondylolisthesis, herniated disc, tumor, nerve pain, osteoporosis.

61 patients for chronic low back pain. (7)

Success rate in magnetic field group 97.6% versus 52.6% in placebo group.

7 86 Marks RA, Adv Ther 2000 Mar-Apr; 17 (2): 57-67

48 high-risk patients following posterolateral lumbar spinal fusion. (8)

No placebo control. Radiologic review. Success rate 97.9%!
59% of patients returned to work. None of the patients reported dissatisfaction with the clinical treatment.

8 85 Holmes GB, Foot Ankle Int 1994 Oct; 15(10): 552-6

Chronic wounds

(pressure ulcers, leg ulcers, etc.).

31 patients with venous leg ulcers. These are ulcers of the lower leg that result from the leakage of tissue fluid in varicose veins, leading to nutritional disturbances in the tissue area there. (9)

After 8 weeks of magnetic field treatment, there were significant benefits over the untreated control group in terms of wound depth and size, pain, and granulation at the base of the ulcer.

9 Stiller et al, Br J Dermatol 1992; 127:147-154

72 diabetic patients with open leg veins, which are known to occur due to associated circulatory problems. (10)

Under the magnetic field, treatment time was shortened in 58% of diabetic patients compared to standard treatment, i.e. necrolysis (“dissolution of dead tissue”) and epithalialization (“overgrowth of skin”) occurred more rapidly.

10 Kuliev + Babaev, Vestn Khir IM II Grek 1992; 148(1):33-6

20 patients with pressure ulcers. (11)

Significant healing occurred only under magnetic field.

11 Comorosan et al, Rom J Physiol 1993 Jan-Jun; 30 (1-2): 41-5

400 patients with poorly healing wounds due to misapplied intravenous chemotherapy. (12)

Under magnetic field, wounds healed 3-3.5 times faster than under conventional therapy. Total treatment time was 2 – 3 times faster.

12 Kiselev + Grushina, Vopr Onkol 2000; 46 (4): 469-72

2. Pain treatment

Headache and migraine

In Germany, about 10-15% of the adult population suffers from migraines and 20-30% from tension headaches once a month. Half of migraine sufferers have one attack per month, and one in ten have four or more attacks. Half of female migraineurs and one third of male migraineurs are unable to work 6 days a year.

13 migraine patients. Study design double-blind, cross-over (i.e., placebo patients receive actual magnetic field treatment in a second run and vice versa). (13)

Seizure frequency was massively reduced under magnetic field.
Before MF treatment: 3.32 seizures per week
After 14 days of MF treatment 0.58 attacks per week

13 Shernan et al, Headache 1998 Mar; 38 (3): 208-13

3. Arthrosis / degenerative, painful joint disease

Arthrosis is originally a wear of the joint cartilage. Causes include misalignment, overuse, or circulatory disorders. Although a pulsating magnetic field can initiate causal cartilage healing by stimulating chondrocytes, i.e. cartilage-forming cells, this does not explain why significant improvements in pain and joint functionality can be achieved after a relatively short time. This is because cartilage growth takes time, and application times of many months must be expected. The immediate effect, which is always astonishing in the treatment of osteoarthritis, is obviously an increase in blood circulation in the supporting apparatus of the arthrotic joint. In addition, it cannot be excluded that “vegetative” signals also provide a relaxation impulse.
Consequence: A higher blood flow in the hardened muscle attachment of the joint leads to a relaxation of the muscle. This leads to a reduction in pressure on the corresponding nerves, which is synonymous with a reduction in pain.

Gonarthrosis (knee arthritis).

5 studies with a total of 592 patients


Patients Pain relief Magnetic field Pain relief Placeboo
176 (14) 48% 8%
27 (15) 23-61% 2-18%
86 (16) 27% 14%

Follow-up at 1 month: The magnetic field group had consistently improved mobility compared to the placebo group.

14 Jacobson Jl et al, Altern Ther Health Med 2001 Sep-Oct; 7 (5): 54-64 + 66-9
15 Trock et al, J Rheumatol 1993 Mar; 20 (3): 456-60
16 Trock et al, J Rheumatol Oct; 21 (10): 1903-11

Coxarthrosis (Hip Joint)

Significant reduction in pain and improvement in mobility.

66 patients (17)

Significant pain reduction and mobility improvement after only 4 weeks. This was maintained at 6 months.

17 Dal Conte, Naz Simfer Verona 1983; 11:98-104

Tendopathies – Tennis Elbow, Shoulder-Arm Syndrome, Fibromyalgia

Tendopathies are degenerative changes in the tendons and tendon insertions that manifest mainly as contraction and stiffening of these structures with pain associated with movement. Tennis elbow, shoulder-arm syndrome, impingement syndrome, tendopathy of the biceps tendon, etc. are the associated clinical pictures with which almost all of us have made unpleasant acquaintance. It can be assumed that the painful conditions of the hand and forearm that are succinctly diagnosed as “tendonitis” all correspond to a true tendopathy.

29 patients with carpal tunnel syndrome. Double-blind study. (18)

Significant improvement with magnetic field in the first 4 weeks. In the second 4 weeks no difference between magnetic field and placebo. There was also no difference over a further 8 weeks, when no further treatment was given. However, at the end of the study, 65% of the patients were symptom-free and another 14% (5 patients) reported an improvement in symptoms. This is all the more significant because conservative treatment of shoulder-arm syndrome is usually an extremely difficult undertaking, with a conservative success rate of only a few percent.

18 Binder A, Parr G, Lancet 1984 Mar 31; 1 (8379): 695-8

5. Neurology

Sleep Disorders

People who suffer from chronic insomnia often feel like they are the only ones struggling through the night. However, this subjective impression is deceptive: in Western industrialized countries, 20-30% of the population suffers from sleep disorders. Of these, 10-15% have insomnia (sleeplessness) that requires treatment.

101 patients with difficulty falling asleep, waking during the night, or nightmares. Double-blind, 4-week study. Efficacy also assessed for daytime sleepiness, headache, and ability to concentrate. (19)

Magnetic field: 70% strong improvement or relief of symptoms, 24% marked improvement, 6% mild improvement.
Placebo: 2% marked improvement, 49% slight or marked improvement, 49% no improvement.

19 Pelka et al, Adv Ther 2001 Jul-Aug; 18 (4): 174-80

Nerve injuries

ze.g. after accidents, herniated discs, after operations, etc.

With magnetic field, nerves grow faster after surgical pre-treatment (nerve suture) than without magnetic field. (20)

Important: The formation of a scar neurinoma can also be prevented with a magnetic field.
A neurinoma is a painful ingrowth of the nerve stump into the scar after injury or surgery.

20 Raji AM, J Hand Surg (Br) 1984 Jun; 9 (2): 105-12

Parkinson’s Disease

In patients with Parkinson’s disease, a certain central neurotransmitter, dopamine, is no longer produced. The result is centrally controlled movement disorders. These include the well-known resting tremor of the limbs, a stiffness in movement, falling sickness, difficulty in starting to walk, and a latency in “braking” walking movements, etc.

Under the magnetic field, for example, the tendency of some Parkinson’s patients to fall could be significantly reduced (80-90%). At the same time, the general Parkinson’s symptoms improved. For example, an American study showed dramatic and lasting improvements in dysarthria (speech problems). Cognitive performance also improved rapidly. (21,22)

21 Sandyk R. Int J Neurosci 1996 Feb; 84 (1-4): 165-75
22 Sandyk R. Int J Neurosci 1997 Nov; 92 (1-2): 63-72

Multiple Sclerosis

MS is an autoimmune disease, meaning that the body’s immune system attacks its own nerve tissue. The result: The nerves slowly die. Paralysis and spastic muscle contractions are part of this cruel disease.

38 MS patients. Double-blind study. 1 week treatment, 2 times daily. (23)

Clear antispastic effect.

23 Nielsen JF, Jakobsen J. Mult Scler 1996 Dec; 2 (5): 227-32

30 MS patients. Double-blind study. 2 months treatment. (24)

Clear positive effect on spasticity, bladder control, cognitive ability, mobility, fatigue status, and visual ability.

24 Richards TL, Laüpin MS, Cunningham CA, J Altern Complement Med 1997 Summer; 3(2): 205

Study results are not expressed in absolute numbers because the measurements correspond to a complicated scaling of standardized tests.

Post-zoster neuralgia

Anyone who has had chickenpox as a young person is predestined to develop shingles later in life. Post-zoster neuralgia, or severe to very severe nerve pain, is a dreaded complication. Although the mechanism of action is not known, a pulsating magnetic field seems to counteract it

32 patients with herpes zoster (shingles). All patients were treated with a pulsating magnetic field, i.e. this is not a placebo-controlled study. (25)

Although normally about 40% of shingles patients (older than 50 years – even 75% of all over 75 years) develop neuralgia later, in the study group only one of the participants got the said nerve pain.

24 Vander Straten et al, J Cutan Med Surg 2001 Sep-Oct; 5 (5): 409 – 16

6. Stress treatment

People who suffer from chronic insomnia often feel like they are the only ones struggling through the night. However, this subjective impression is deceptive: in Western industrialized countries, 20-30% of the population suffers from sleep disorders. Of these, 10-15% have insomnia (sleeplessness) that requires treatment.

Stress is regulated by the autonomic nervous system. For example, bad or surprising news increases blood pressure. For example, it is known that in 90% of cases, high blood pressure is caused by an increased “sympathetic tone”. This increased sympathetic tone can be congenital (in the fewest cases) or it can be caused by external or internal stress.

The possibility of restoring a natural balance between the sympathetic (stress) and parasympathetic (relaxation) nervous systems by pulsating magnetic fields opens up a wide range of potential applications. (25) It should be expressly noted that it is certainly not conducive to the “acceptance” of magnetic field treatment to define the areas of application very broadly. For example, indications such as bone, wound healing and arthrosis can still be understood by therapists and users according to the mentioned study situation. Vegetative and direct effects, which may have an even stronger influence on disease and healing than the direct biological signals, are not tangible, especially because medical knowledge about general vegetative influences on organ functions is still in its infancy.

25 Anan’in NN, Vopr Kurortol Fizioter Lech Fiz Kult 2001 Nov-Dec; (6): 18-20

7. Immune system

The body’s immune system is a very complex structure. How it is activated or switched off is still largely unknown in medicine. For example, when we catch a cold, it is caused by either bacteria or viruses. However, with an intact immune system, not a single invading microbe would normally have a chance to survive. However, the cause of a cold, tick-borne encephalitis, or herpes is not a weak immune system, but only a “momentary” dysfunction of the immune system. I.e. before the infection the immune system was obviously “paralyzed”.

Because of the obvious regulating and calming effects on the vegetative system and thus on stress events, the effectiveness of pulsating magnetic fields results not only from a direct activation of certain immune corpuscles, but also indirectly from a non-weakening of an originally intact defense system.

Fields of application:

  • Increased susceptibility to infections.
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome. This is probably caused by a chronic viral infection.
  • Stress-induced immune deficiency.
  • Prolonged infections, i.e. infections that take weeks to heal.

8. Increase blood circulation

Potency Problems

A large part of male potency problems are psychological. The rest are arteriosclerotic changes that prevent erection. While, for example, the drug Viagra® only increases the blood flow, but cannot make a difference in the case of psychological blockages, the effective approach of the pulsating magnetic stone is both a vegetative relaxation and thus a deblocking, as well as an increase in blood flow.

105 men with erectile dysfunction. Single-blind. (26)

Magnetic field 70-80% improvement.
Placebo 33% improvement

26 Gorpinchenko II, Lik Sprava 1995 Mar-Apr; (3-4): 95-7

20 patients with erectile dysfunction. Double-blind. 3 weeks treatment. (27)

Magnetic field: In 80% increase in erection strength/duration In 20% no improvement. After the study, however, it was discovered that these same men had a flu infection.
Placebo: 30% had improvement, 70% had no improvement.

27 Pelka RB; Jaenicke C. Gruenwald J. Adv Ther 2002 Jan-Feb; 19 (1): 53-60

9. Anti-Aging / Wellness

Anti-aging means measures to stop or even reverse the aging process. With the primitive strategy of using antioxidants (cell protection) or sex hormones, we are still miles away from effective anti-aging. Instead, studies in stress research show that the aging process is closely related to a balanced vegetative state. At the same time, it is becoming increasingly clear that the body – genetically determined – needs as much exercise as possible to fully perform its metabolic and cell renewal functions.

The potential of a magnetic field to increase blood circulation, the possibility of increasing the number of mitochondria by increasing Ca++, or indirectly by extending deep sleep phases, or directly by producing IGF-2, opens up a completely new, as yet unrecognized field of application for the magnetic field.

10. Sports and Fitness

Sports and especially competitive sports are areas where the effects of magnetic fields have been used successfully for a long time. This is not only related to the possibilities in the therapy of sports injuries or the well-known potential for blood circulation, but also to new areas of application that have only recently been developed in terms of the principle of action.

Training optimization

Under a magnetic field, endorphin production increases. This automatically leads to an increase in the pain threshold, which in turn allows for harder and more effective training. Another effect is the short-term switch to the aerobic phase.

Sports injuries

These include tendonitis, bruises, contusions, sprains, tendon ruptures, muscle strains, muscle tears, etc.

Any injury, tissue destruction or infection is usually followed by inflammation – recognizable by the following cardinal symptoms Overheating of the affected area. Reddening as a result of increased blood flow due to vasodilation by “inflammatory messengers”, swelling due to the transfer of fluid into the tissues, and pain due to tissue pressure. The result is loss of function.

There is an acute phase (inflammatory phase) and a proliferative phase that begins about 48 hours after injury. During the acute phase, there is blood leakage (hematoma formation) and the release of inflammatory mediators, i.e., messenger substances that initiate inflammation. In the proliferation phase, the rebuilding of cellular tissue begins, i.e., new capillaries sprout into the destroyed cellular area and new collagen synthesis begins.

Finally, between the 21st and 60th day, the “remodeling” phase begins. It is used to improve the new tissue. Ideally, the original condition should be restored. At the forefront of any acute injury is the formation of edema. Edema is caused by increased fluid entering the tissue (via the blood vessels) that cannot be removed to the same extent by the venous and lymphatic systems.

Much of the fluid removal is the responsibility of the lymphatic system (“suction veins”). The rate of fluid aspiration depends on muscle contraction and pressure conditions. The endothelium or the width of the lymphatic vessels also plays an important role. By the way, the width of the lymphatic vessels, as well as that of the veins and arteries, is regulated by the already mentioned NO system. And this system is activated, for example, by a magnetic field.

From this point of view, magnetic field therapy is a double-edged sword: On the one hand, tissue perfusion is increased. This allows more inflammatory mediators to flow into the tissue. On the other hand, the magnetic field has the very effect of reducing inflammation because it reduces prostaglandins and bradykinin, which act as inflammatory mediators. In addition, the veins and lymphatic vessels dilated by NO absorb more fluid.

Important: Swelling/edema due to infectious inflammation (bacteria/viruses) should not be treated with a magnetic field.

Rule of thumb for practice: no treatment on the day of injury. From the 2nd day on, the anti-inflammatory and dehydrating effects predominate.