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

Dr. Zatrok's blog

Magnetotherapy in practice

by Dr. Zsolt Zatrok

Magnetotherapy is a widely used physical therapy method in Western Europe. The electromagnetic field is generated by a current flowing through a coil. It accelerates microcirculation and tissue regeneration processes. Here you can read about the diseases that can be treated with magnetotherapy. In this article, I write about how to use magnetotherapy for the best results.

Key parameters of magnetotherapy

Magnetic therapy is defined by four main parameters: field strength (Gauss), frequency (Hz), duration (hours and minutes) and cycle time (DC).

The intensity of the field is still expressed in Gauss, despite the fact that the SI system uses Tesla. The magnetic intensity is an important parameter for the effectiveness of the treatment.

To give an example, the Earth’s magnetic field is 0.3-0.7 Gauss (30-70 µTesla). At the other extreme, intensities above 1000 mTesla (10 000 Gauss) can cause permanent genetic damage.

In home magnetic therapy treatments, intensities lower than 10 mTesla (100 Gauss) are used for biostimulation, and regeneration treatments, while those between 10-100 mTesla (100-1000 Gauss) are used for healing treatments.

Devices suitable for medical magnetotherapy generally use low frequencies (between 1-200 Hz). The lower frequencies in this range are mainly used to treat bone and joint disorders, while the higher frequencies are used to treat soft tissue (tendons, ligaments, muscles, blood vessels, nerves).

The time (duration) of each treatment depends on the lesion. Disorders of bone formation, such as prolonged fracture healing, pseudo-arthritis, and osteonecrosis, usually require 6-8 hours of treatment per day (for 1-2 months). For low back pain, tendonitis and similar complaints, shorter treatment times are appropriate. 30 minutes a day for 20-30 days.

The electromagnetic field can be continuous or pulsed. The cycle time (DC) determines whether there is pulsation. If the cycle time is 100%, the magnetic field is continuous. If it is below 100%, then it is pulsating. The default cycle time in Magnum devices is 50%. This means that the magnetism and the pause are of the same length (on-off). Continuous magnetism has a more intense effect on the organs, but it may not be the better one!

Pulsation often has better results! For example: you want to drive a nail into a board. If you put the hammer on the head of the nail and keep “pushing” it, the nail will not go into the board. But if you hammer it… This example, while not entirely accurate, illustrates how the intermittent pulse is different.

When to change the set programmes?

In Magnum magnetotherapy devices, the parameters of each program are set according to medical guidelines. Typically, there is no need to change them, unless your doctor suggests otherwise.

The field intensity should be changed if, for example, the area to be treated is covered with a thick bandage, plaster or other fixation. Although the magnetic field will still penetrate these, it is necessary to increase the field intensity. The frequency and cycle times for each programme are also based on medical research, so you don’t need to adjust the frequency either.

For severe bone disorders (pseudoarthritis, osteoporosis, fracture), the default treatment time for programs is set to the minimum required. In these cases, longer treatment is better. Therefore, for these, set a treatment time of several hours when you have time for longer treatment.

In general, for home use, only change the default setting on your device if your doctor specifically recommends it.

magnetotherapyThe magnetic field

A pulsating magnetic field is created by an electric current passing through a coil. A solenoid is a metal surrounded by a series of coils. The direction of the current determines the polarity, so each solenoid has a north and a south pole. The “S” indicates the South pole of the solenoid and the “N” indicates the North pole. The field is therefore created both above and below the coil.

Knowing the poles is important for correct solenoid placement.

Solenoids placed side by side

If you place a solenoid with one of its poles on the surface of the body, its magnetic field will penetrate the body. It has an effect both under the solenoid and in its immediate surroundings. If the area to be treated is large (e.g. the spine from the neck to the waist), several solenoids are needed. If only one is available, it is necessary to treat in several steps. First on the neck, then between the shoulder blades, on the back and finally on the waist. This of course takes four times as long.

If you have more than one solenoid, you can treat a larger area at once. In this case, place each solenoid with the same pole towards the skin. This way they create a common magnetic field.

Solenoids placed facing each other

magnetotherapyMany times, a small area requires treatment. E.g. wrist fracture, leg fracture. In these situations, position the solenoid on both sides of the injured area. This method combines the magnetic field on both sides, resulting in greater and deeper penetration.

You can only achieve a coherent magnetic field if you position the coils correctly. The figure shows the polarity. The two solenoids should be aligned as parallel as possible, facing each other; otherwise, the two fields will not interconnect, resulting in a somewhat weaker effect.

Before you put the solenoid on, the first thing you should do is check the polarity. This will determine how to position it and the type of treatment it is suitable for.

You can undergo magnetic treatments while lying down. However, you can secure the solenoids with Velcro tape. So you can even treat while working in the office.

Treatment time

Like all physical therapy methods, the effects of magnetotherapy are not “immediate”. The meaning of biostimulation is: the stimulation of biological-physiological processes. For example, the healing of a broken bone is a process that takes months. A cut will close in a few days, but the scar will reach its final strength in 90-100 days.

Biostimulation treatments at regular intervals and over a long period of time (weeks) help and speed up these processes, but do not shorten them to a few days! Magnetotherapy is used to treat bones, joints and ligaments, which are particularly slow to heal, so patience and perseverance are required.

I will list some conditions and the general treatment principles, frequency and treatment times associated with them. Ask your doctor for a personalised treatment protocol. If you do not get one from him, follow the general suggestions below. You will find the necessary treatment programmes in the Magnum magnetotherapy models, but not all of them. Check the program list before you buy to see if the device is right for your needs.


This treatment is commonly used for large-area abnormalities such as neuropathy. The main cause of this condition is damage to nerves, and receptors and insufficient regeneration. The programme can also be used to support the immune system in general and as a preventive measure. For example, starting 2-3 weeks before the “season” helps to increase the “strength” of the immune system. It helps to prevent spring-autumn flu or respiratory allergies.
General protocol: 6-8 hours a day for 12 weeks


Fracture treatment programs can be used from the first day after injury. The magnetic field penetrates the plaster and plastic brace. However, the thickness of the plaster increases the distance between the solenoids and the bone. It is therefore recommended to increase the magnetic field intensity by 50-60%.
The opposite placement of the solenoids is important. Position the coils above the fracture. If you have more than one solenoid, you can use both to create a more intense magnetic field. It proves especially useful when treating a large area, such as above the femur and tibia.
General protocol: 8 hours a day for 30 days

Bone necrosis

Used when bone deficiency has been diagnosed by X-ray or MRI. Also applicable in case of insufficient bone blood supply. Injury typically causes this condition, although it can also be attributed to prolonged corticosteroid usage or excessive alcohol consumption.
General protocol: 8 hours a day for 5 months

Bone edema

Usually used for bone bruising and periosteal damage. The injury causes an abnormal accumulation of fluid around the bone. The main cause of this condition is a strong and blunt impact. The second most common cause of bone oedema is wear of the articular cartilage.
General protocol: 8 hours a day for 30 days

Delayed fracture consolidation

Used in cases where the fracture is not healing properly. This is the case in people with osteoporosis or vascular/metabolic changes. Less commonly, it may also be caused by inadequate fixation – if the broken bone ends can move. You should place the solenoids opposite each other if possible. The daily duration of treatment can vary from a few hours to 10-12 hours.
General protocol: 3-8 hours a day for 30 days


Recommended when fracture healing exceeds nine months. For this reason, the patient has often undergone surgery and/or received synthesis devices (plates, screws or external fixators). These can make it difficult to position and fix the solenoids properly. Therefore, consultation with the treating physician is essential. An individual fitting plan may be required, taking the situation into account.
General protocol: 8 hours a day for 5 months


Magnetic therapy is recommended for progressive (gradual) weakening of the bone structure. Bone tissue is vital for supporting the body. Bone structure undergoes continuous changes throughout our lives. In osteoporosis, this bone remodelling mechanism is distorted, resulting in structural weakening of the bone.
The pulsed electromagnetic field activates the bone-building processes. It restores the balance between the activity of osteoblasts (the cells responsible for bone formation) and osteoclasts (the cells responsible for bone breakdown).
To treat larger areas, it may be useful to use MAT 100 or TotalBody mats (optional accessories).
General protocol: 8-10 hours a day for 12 weeks

Joint cartilage wear, Arthritis, Back pain

General protocol: 30 minutes a day for 6 weeks

Joint pain

General protocol: 15-40 minutes a day for 3 weeks

Back pain

General protocol: 20-45 minutes a day for 3 weeks

Algodystrophy / Sudeck’s syndrome

For algodystrophy syndrome, magnetotherapy can be used even if the limb is immobilised in a plaster cast. It is also suitable for microtrauma of the foot, upper leg, wrist, and hand. In these cases, the initial phase is characterized by swelling, redness, heat, and severe pain, particularly during physical activity involving the affected limb.
General protocol: 4-6 hours daily for 4-8 weeks

Hip and knee replacement

Magnetotherapy supports regeneration (recovery) after implant placement. It enhances prosthesis incorporation and the formation of strong surrounding bone tissue. The medical literature recommends a minimum of 3-4 hours of treatment per day, but your doctor may recommend a different application time.
General protocol: 3-4 hours daily for 60 days

Post-operative treatment

To be used after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction or cartilage cleaning. Pulsed magnetic therapy can be started from the first days after surgery. It reduces pain, oedema and inflammation and speeds up healing.
General protocol: 4-6 hours daily for 60 days

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

You can use magnetotherapy as soon as you notice the initial symptoms. The greatest improvement is seen at this early stage. Carpal tunnel syndrome results from the compression of the median nerve. The nerve runs from the forearm through a canal called the carpal tunnel and up to the fingers. Magnetotherapy helps to reduce pain, reduce inflammation and improve mobility of the hand and fingers.
General protocol: 30 minutes a day for at least 15 days.
If needed, you can repeat this cycle.

Tendinitis, tennis elbow

General protocol: 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week for 3 weeks

Rotator cuff disorders

General protocol: 3-8 hours per day, 4 weeks

For conditions like tendonitis, tennis elbow, and rotator cuff disorders, position the solenoids over the painful area, ideally opposite each other. During the acute phase, combine magnetotherapy with other physiotherapies and doctor-prescribed medication, and during the sub-acute phase, it can be used as a standalone treatment.

Treatment accessories and their use

There are a variety of solenoids available for Magnum magnetotherapy devices. These can be used for different treatments. You should choose based on the area or condition you need to treat.

magnum elastic handler

Magnum flexible solenoid, standard

There are 2 coils of opposite polarity. Therefore, use it specifically to treat fractures, inflammations, and injuries of the arm and leg bones, hand, foot, wrist, elbow, shoulder, ankle, knee, and hip. Apply it in a manner similar to a blood pressure cuff by placing it around the area to be treated. This design ensures that the two solenoids are positioned opposite each other on the bone or joint, thereby linking the magnetic fields.

magnum elastic handpiece large

Magnum flexible solenoid

Optionally available with a 40×15 cm flexible solenoid for large-area handling.

There are 4 coils with the same polarity. Therefore specifically suitable for the treatment of the spine, pelvis, hip or longitudinal fracture of the femur. Do not apply this cuff in a circular manner; instead, lay it along the spine, for example. The coils create a magnetic field with a large surface area but not too deep.


magnum soft4 mattress

Magnum Soft4 solenoid

Contains 4 coils in soft sponge bags. The smooth side of the case is the south (S) pole of the coil, and the north (N) side is the opposite side where the strap retainer is located.

The size is 25x25cm, making it ideal for the back, waist, pelvis, and hips. It can be a good solution when placed under the affected part of the body e.g. tennis elbow, epicondylitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis. It can be used at work or at the desk.

magnum pocket pro handler

Magnum Pocket Pro solenoid

Contains 2 coils in a zip-lock removable textile case. The case clearly indicates the south (S) and north (N) poles. Suitable for smaller areas. If you have more than one Pocket Pro, you can place them next to each other with the same pole (for treating larger areas) or opposite each other, e.g. for treating fractures or joint injuries.
You can attach them with Velcro straps.

Magnum mattresses

Three types of mattresses are available. The smallest is the MAT 100 mattress. Its size is 70×45 cm. It contains 4 coils with a textile cover and “memory foam”. This means that you can treat it by placing it on a chair or armchair and sitting on it. Ideal for treating e.g. thigh bones, hips, pelvis, lower back, back, shoulder and neck. Also excellent for long treatments lasting several hours!

total body treatment mat magnet therapyTotalBody 200 and TotalBody 400 mattress

These large mats are recommended for long treatments lasting several hours, when the whole body or a large part of it needs to be treated at the same time. For example, osteoporosis, multiple arthritis, spinal disorders, allergies, immune strengthening, circulatory improvement or sleep improvement.

The TotalBody mattress has a total size of 70×180 cm. It can be placed on the bed, or under the sheets, so you can even treat yourself while you sleep. The mattress consists of 4 smaller units.

For Total Body 200, only 2 of the 4 mattress units have magnetic coils.  This allows you to create multiple distributions by varying the mattress elements.

Total Body 200 Magnetic Therapy Mattress

With Total Body 400, there is no compromise. Each section has 4 magnetic coils, giving you a full body treatment.totalbody 400 magnet therapy mattress

How to choose from the Magnum magnetotherapy machine models

The main differences between the devices are the number of treatment channels, the intensity of the magnetic field and the number of treatment programs.

Number of treatment channels

Only one magnetic actuator can be connected to the Magnum L. Buy it if you are treating a single-sided problem. For example, you want to stimulate the healing of a fracture in your wrist or elbow.

The Magnum XL, 2500, XL Pro and 3000 Pro operate two channels simultaneously. With the 3000 Pro, it is possible to run different programmes on the two channels (for example, a bone fracture on one output and an arthritis programme on the other). This is important if, for example, you are treating two patients at the same time or sharing a treatment with your partner. With the Magnum XL, 2500, XL Pro, it is possible to operate two operators at the same time, but only with the same program. So, for example, if you have inflammation in both knees, you can treat them at the same time.

The Magnum 3500 Pro has four channels, so you can treat up to four channels at the same time. In 2+2 mode, you can set different programs on outputs 1-2 and 3-4, meaning you can treat two patients and up to 2 full-body mats at the same time.

[message title=”Magnum XL magnetotherapy device” title_color=”#ffffff” title_bg=”#1e73be” title_icon=”” content_color=”#000000″ content_bg=”#ededed” id=””]

  • For home therapyMagnum XL magnetotherapy device
  • 26 predefined programs
  • Power: 280 Gauss total power
  • For treating osteoporosis, arthrosis, arthritis, etc.


Magnetic intensity

I mentioned above that intensities lower than 100 Gauss are used for biostimulation and regeneration treatments, while those between 100-1000 Gauss are used for healing treatments. Consequently, higher intensity results in a stronger healing effect. The higher the magnetic field intensity of a device, the higher its price. You have to find a compromise between the complaint and your budget.

Just because the magnetic intensity is low does not mean that the device is not effective! With a lower-intensity device, more treatment will be needed for improvement and healing. It’s like driving a car: if you drive slower, it takes more time to reach the finish line. But you will get there

Number of treatment programmes

The more expensive a device, the more programs it provides. Medical experience and guidelines inform the creation of treatment programs. Different frequencies, intensities, and treatment durations are needed for various conditions, such as minor inflammation in the wrist, Achilles tendon issues, or a femoral neck fracture or osteoarthritis.

A device with a limited number of programs is suitable for general treatment, such as treating general fractures. In contrast, more expensive devices offer a breakdown of multiple programs, providing separate programs for wrist, humerus, tibia, femur fractures, and more.

You don’t necessarily need the device with the most programs! But the one that suits your current needs. That could be the Magnum L. Magnum XL and XL pro also offer rehabilitation and beauty-wellness programmes. The Magnum 2500, 3000 Pro and 3500 Pro can be suitable not only for home treatments but also for physiotherapy treatments.

Comparing Magnum devices

Magnum device version L XL 2500 XL Pro 3000 Pro 3500 Pro
number of channels 1 2 2 2 2 4
simultaneously treating multiple patients no not no no Yes 1+1 battle. Yes, 2+2 buckles.
Intensity per channel (Gauss) 120 140 160 200 200 200
max. magnetic intensity (Gauss) 120 280 320 400 400 800
rehabilitation programmes 8 16 52 32 70 70
beauty programmes none 10 none 12 none none
personal use yes yes yes yes yes yes
prof. use no no yes yes yes yes
cosmetician no yes no yes no no
connect mattress no yes yes yes yes two at a time
bone fracture yes yes yes yes yes yes
osteoporosis yes yes yes yes yes yes
arthrosis yes yes yes yes yes yes
arthritis yes yes yes yes yes yes
tennis elbow yes yes yes yes yes yes
edema yes yes yes yes yes yes
tissue regeneration no yes yes yes yes yes
wounds, scars no yes yes yes yes yes
sleeping disorder no no yes no yes yes

[message title=”Magnum XL magnetotherapy device” title_color=”#ffffff” title_bg=”#1e73be” title_icon=”” content_color=”#000000″ content_bg=”#ededed” id=””]

  • For home therapyMagnum XL magnetotherapy device
  • 26 predefined programs
  • Power: 280 Gauss total power
  • For treating osteoporosis, arthrosis, arthritis, etc.


[message title=”Magnum 3500 magnetotherapy device” title_color=”#ffffff” title_bg=”#1e73be” title_icon=”” content_color=”#000000″ content_bg=”#ededed” id=””]

  • For professional therapyMagnum 3500 magnetotherapy device
  • Can manage 2 mattresses at the same time
  • 70 predefined programs
  • For treating sleeping disorders, osteoporosis, arthrosis, arthritis, etc.
  • Night programmes


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Antonio 2023-09-12 - 00:53

Dear doctor, only now i find your site, i don’t know if you can help me. I am approacching a magnetotherapy study with to purpose to project an equipment specific at moment, for osteoporosis care. I touched the dept of magnetic world (multilayer coil, inductor, mutual inductance, parasitic capacitor most important if ferrite core is used to minomize the shape of coil). After i reached the anatomy materia, descripted vertebral column and the dimension of principal tissutal patterns from spinous process and distal position of vertebral body, for having the data for calculation of electrical parameters. I understand that the final target of magnetic field is electrical difference of potential (ddp) from celluar membrane and his center of osteoblasts. I understand that the best way to predict the final effect of therapy is to simulate with correct software instruments(i.e. Matlab, Comsol, Cst and human computerised model, HUGO). Now i am serching the reason for which i can use different equiment setup, as frequency, duty cycle, vaweform, time and magnetic field, but i have a lot of difficolties to find. Can you help me? if you want i can send some syntetic documents i wrote in the past; in that case give me your email address. Thank you.

Dr. Zsolt Zatrok 2023-09-12 - 10:30

Thank you for your letter. Learning is a pleasure, so I welcome any professional material you share with me. You will be notified of my reply by e-mail, so we can communicate directly on this.

As a blogger, I do not do academic work.
In my articles, I combine the literature and personal experience to describe tools and methods that the chronic patient can use to alleviate their symptoms (in the comfort of home).
We agree that there is currently very little data available on magnetic field parameters and their effects.
Physical therapy does not generally work like a drug molecule. The effect of a drug is mostly a MEASURABLE change in a parameter. The effect of a milligram of an antihypertensive drug can be monitored by checking the blood pressure value. This effect can be measured shortly after absorption of the drug.
But physiotherapy and PEMF work in a completely different way. They stimulate the body’s self-healing system. It restores cell membrane function, improves mitochondrial function, increases the production of ATP, collagen and other proteins, etc. This is essential for the success of regeneration processes.
But this is a slow-onset effect! Treatments (correctly dosed and spaced) can take days, weeks or even months to achieve the desired results. One treatment does not give a measurable response.
As each individual has a different regenerative potential, the same set point can have a completely different effect.
This further complicates the situation
Once the drug has worn off, the expected effect also ceases.
However, the change in condition stimulated by physiotherapy is permanent!
Today, patients and therapists are “impatient”. They want immediate results. Medicines give a quick, symptomatic result. Not a cure.
The effects of physiotherapy methods are slow but curative.
The main flaw in medical studies of physiotherapy is that they look at treatments of comparable duration to drugs. E.g. 4 weeks of magnetotherapy. After 4 weeks (and 12-15 magnetotherapy treatments in total), it wants to demonstrate X-ray validated bone formation….
This is a completely wrong approach.
Since magnetism increases osteoblast activity and the “work” is done by these cells, the process takes months.
Most of study doesn’t provides evidences.
However, it is my strong opinion that the results of the studies are poor because they look at a very short period of time during which the body’s self-regeneration processes are not able to give visible results.
However, in a fast-paced world, there is no time to wait months for “results”.

Robert 2022-08-22 - 16:29

Hello, I would like to ask you if a diabetic foot (polyneuropathy) can be treated with magnetotherapy?
Thank you very much in advance

Dr. Zátrok Zsolt 2022-08-23 - 10:48

yes, it can be applied. In a lucky case, it can help relieve the symptoms. The main use of magnetotherapy is to treat bone and joint problems. However, magnetotherapy also has a circulatory effect, which can reduce polyneuropathic complaints. More likely to be helpful is Bemer therapy (although this is not guaranteed for neuropathic complaints). However, Bemer specifically improves microcirculation and so may help to stop and somewhat improve diabetic-induced vascular and nerve damage.

Márta 2022-04-19 - 19:18

Súlyos csontritkulásban szenvedek.Gerinc csigolyáim értékei -3,8 és-4,9 között vannak. Hat éve mellrákkal műtöttek. Mivel igen kezdeti stádiumú volt, a kezelés sem volt drasztikus. Azóta tünetmentes vagyok. Alkalmazhatom-e a mágnesterápiát? Ha igen, akkor az éjszakai gyógyításban gondolkodom, vagyis mágneses matracban. A térdemben kopás van, attól is szenvedek. Kérdésem az lenne, hogy melyik típusú készüléket és matracot ajánlaná? Mennyi ideig lenne ajánlatos használni naponta, ill. hosszabb távon? Tudna-e olyan boltot ajánlani, ahol alacsonyabb a készülékek ára? Segítségét előre is köszönöm.

Dr. Zátrok Zsolt 2022-04-20 - 13:13

A mágnesterápia fő alkalmazási területe a csontritkulás kiegészítő kezelése. A cikket (amihez ezt a kérdést feltette) olvassa el alaposan – görgessen felfelé. Benne van, hogy milyen kezelési idő és kúra időtartam a szokásos javaslat.
A Magnum XL készülék már megfelelő erre a célra. A készülék ára tartalmazza a térd kezeléshez szükséges kiegészítőt, az éjjeli kezelést lehetővé tevő matracot viszont külön kell beszerezni.

Csaba 2022-04-03 - 14:32

Parkinsonre mit javasol? Milyen paraméterekkel?

Dr. Zátrok Zsolt 2022-04-03 - 15:52

az orvosa által javasolt gyógyszereket, abban a dózisban, ahogy felírta.
Ebben a betegségben a mágnesterápia nem segít. Esetleg az izomtünetek csökkentésére izomstimulátor használható.

József 2022-03-17 - 18:56

Egy éve vérszegénységgel kezelnek, most már kéthavonta kapok kettő, vagy négy adag vért.
Orvosomban teljes mértékben megbízom. A kezelést továbbra is az utasításai szerint folytatva
kérdezném, hogy kiegészítő kezelésként érdemes lenne-e a pulzáló mágnesterápiát alkalmazni?
Olyan matracom van, amelyiken az időt és a frekvenciát is tudom szabályozni.
Válaszát előre is nagyon köszönöm.

Dr. Zátrok Zsolt 2022-03-18 - 10:01

A mágnesterápia használható, de az anémiát (vérszegénységet) nem befolyásolja, nem javítja, nem mérsékli.
A mágnesterápia a csontok, ízületek problémái esetén hatásos. A vérképzése nem.