Dr. Zatrok's blog
Dr. Zatrok's blog

Dr. Zatrok's blog

Effects and contraindications of magnetotherapy treatment

by Dr. Zsolt Zatrok

Magnetotherapy is a physical therapy method that uses electromagnetic energy to stimulate the regeneration of severely damaged tissues and support self-healing processes. It can help reduce your symptoms, especially if you have damaged bones, joints and cartilage. I recommend its use for fractures, osteoporosis, arthrosis, rheumatism, arthritis, spondylolisthesis, herniated discs, lumbago and many other conditions, but it also has a beneficial effect in cases of lymphedema. Find out how it works and why it works.

Magnetotherapy is a low-frequency, low-intensity, pulsed magnetic field used in physical therapy treatment. This is why the method is also called PEMF, or Pulsating Electromagnetic Field therapy. An electric current passing through the magnet coil generates the magnetic field.

Contraindications to magnetic therapy

Avoid all contraindications: if you have a pacemaker or other electronic device (defibrillator), never use magnetotherapy.

 In these conditions, treatment is not ruled out, but a weighing of the benefit and possible harm is necessary. Consultation with the treating physician and therapist may be necessary to make this decision.

  • Heart disease (cardiomyopathy, heart failure, severe arrhythmia). Magnetotherapy treatment improves microcirculation, i.e. blood circulation. This also means that, for example, magnetotherapy treatment of the extremities causes oedemas to be evacuated and more fluid to circulate. This puts a strain on a sick heart. 
  • Diseases associated with severe circulatory failure.
  • Acute dermatitis (dermatitis) and fungal infections.
  • Haemophilia
  • heavy menstrual cycle (which is ongoing). Improving blood circulation can increase the intensity of bleeding. Therefore, do not treat the abdomen, hips, or waist area during menstruation. You can still treat your ankles, shoulders and elbows.
  • During pregnancy.
  • Electrical prostheses, hearing aids and intrauterine devices.
  • Near metallic objects made of ferromagnetic material. If you are in doubt, visit the doctor who fitted it and ask about the prosthesis. Very old prostheses have magnetizable material, so in principle they can loosen under pulsed magnetic field treatment.
  • Keep away from children under the age of 15.
  • Do not use it on your head or above the thyroid.
  • During febrile illness
  • If you have a tumour, check with your doctor or oncologist – treating the tumour tissue directly can stimulate its growth, while it can be used for joint pain away from the tumour
  • If you have a severe blood pressure disorder and your blood pressure cannot be brought back to normal with medication.
  • Patients with pulmonary tuberculosis (see dermatitis).

Side effects of magnetotherapy

Magnetic field treatment has only reported a small number of side effects. Extremely rare cases of drowsiness, restlessness, insomnia, and nausea were observed, primarily following treatment of the cervical spine.

If you experience problems after neck treatments, it is advisable to keep the treatment to less than 30 minutes and to repeat it several times.

The effects of magnetotherapy

Magnetic therapy supports the repair processes of damaged, damaged, diseased tissues. It stimulates the body’s natural defence mechanisms.

The therapeutic effect of magnetic field manifests itself in two main forms:

  • Anti-inflammatory and anti-oedema effect
  • Stimulation of tissue-building processes

Each cell in your body can be considered a “tiny element”. The distribution of charges between the two sides of a cell membrane is different, so there is a potential difference between the inner and outer sides of the membrane. This voltage is equivalent to 90 millivolts for nerve cells, compared to about 70 millivolts for other cell types.

When cells become diseased due to infection trauma or any other cause, the charge balance between the two sides of the membranes is upset. If a cell has a voltage difference of 70 millivolts under healthy conditions, but only 50-55 millivolts can be measured, the cell is diseased. If the voltage difference falls below 30 millivolts, necrosis occurs, i.e. the cell dies.

Inflammatory processes intensify in the affected area, causing cells to deplete their energy reserves, generating pain, and impeding healing processes (for instance, delaying wound healing).

The main effect of magnetotherapy is to regenerate cells that have lost vital energy, “recharging” them. The treatment restores the potential of the cell membranes, restarts the cell’s own energy production system (mitochondria, ATP), increases protein synthesis, reduces inflammation and oedema, and accelerates the repair and healing processes.

This is of course a slow process, so you will only feel the effects of magnetic field treatment after a long course of treatment (at least 10-15 treatments).

The main application of magnetotherapy treatment

Musculoskeletal diseases are the most important area of application. All injuries, from minor sprains to serious fractures, can benefit from magnetotherapy. The treatment is not a substitute for conventional medical treatment but complements it and contributes significantly to reducing the time needed for healing. Treating bone fractures with magnetotherapy has been shown to result in faster healing and shorter recovery times.

Low-frequency pulsed magnetic field therapy is a relatively common physical therapy for the treatment of inflammatory or degenerative diseases of the bones, joints and tendons, as well as for the treatment of injuries.

Benefits of the treatment

  • Stimulates bone formation (increases the activity of bone-forming cells) and the incorporation of calcium ions – meaning new bone is formed faster and stronger
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Improves flow and microcirculation in capillaries
  • Promotes oedema and interstitial fluid absorption
  • Improves cell regeneration
  • Eases the pain of the tree

You may want to use magnetotherapy for a range of diseases and conditions. Click here to read more about them.

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