Currently, PEMF is recommended in animals to reduce pain (resulting in reduced amount of pharmaceutical pain relievers), reduce swelling, improve circulation, accelerate healing, and improve mobility, all without dangerous side effects.
Specifically, PEMF can be used to treat hip dysplasia, arthritis, soft tissue injuries and wounds, fractures, post-operative cruciate ligament disease, back pain, and neurological conditions, including disc disease and cognitive dysfunction (3,4,5).
There is no single mechanism of action; the therapy influences multiple biological cascades. Stimulation of nitric oxide (NO) appears to be an important mechanism of action. The current induced by PEMF therapy increases production of NO, which in turn, decreases pain, improves blood flow and tissue oxygenation, reduces edema, and triggers additional effects such as influencing growth factor production, new blood vessel formation, and tissue regeneration and remodelling (3,4). Additionally, PEMF may increase the expression of heat shock proteins which protect cells, increase the expression of particular receptors that reduce pro-inflammatory mediators (ie. decrease inflammation), and induce gene expression in cells to resolve inflammation, amongst other pathways involved in healing (3).