Electromagnetic field as a pain relieving modality: A review of the current literature

Samaneh Rashidi

Abstract


The therapeutic effects of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) on a variety of diseases ranging cancer to chronic pain have been reported by many medical literatures. Different modalities of EMFs have shown significant potential as pain relieving agents. This study aims to review the therapeutic efficacy of EMFs as analgesic modalities and recent advances in clinical applications. In addition, the mechanisms of actions of pain relieving effects of EMFs are discussed. The databases of PubMed (1990-2016), EMBASE (1990-2016), Web of Sciences (1990-2016), and Google Scholar (1980-2016) were searched using the set terms of “EMFs,” “pain,” and “effectiveness.” The obtained records were reviewed, and relevant studies were selected for comprehensive review of the current literature. Current evidence indicates relatively high pain relieving effectiveness of different modalities of EMFs for both in acute and chronic pains. Pulsed EMFs have shown promising therapeutic effects in reducing post-operative pains as well as idiopathic pains have shown significantly reduced post-operative pain and also narcotic use in the immediate post-operative period. To reach an efficient protocol for each type of pain, conducting large sample size multi-center clinical trials is needed.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22377/ijgp.v11i01.875

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