PEMF is among the few non-invasive devices or technologies that are US FDA approved for managing poorly healing broken bones and accelerating wound healing. The US FDA approval for such a device means a lot. First and foremost, it means that there is sound evidence that these devices work and are safe.
Trauma is one of the significant causes of mortality and disability. Moreover, many people are living with chronic metabolic disorders, which may only slow down the healing of broken bones.
Boosting bone metabolism is quite challenging for science. Thus, doctors can do little apart from immobilization and fixture of broken bones. Therefore, doctors would often recommend vitamins, minerals, and other supplements. Unfortunately, however, in many cases, bone healing is relatively slow and sub-optimal.
Fortunately, researchers have found a safe way of boosting bone and wound healing. PEMF has no known side effects, yet it can considerably improve bone healing.
There have been tens of high-quality clinical trials, leaving no doubt that PEMF is one of the wonderful ways of boosting bone healing.
In a recent systemic review published in 2020, researchers pooled the data from 22 clinical studies. They analyzed the outcomes in 1,468 participants. All of these studies were controlled clinical trials. By combining the data from these studies, researchers found that PEMF can help moderately. It can boost the healing rate in fractures and relieve pain.
Systemic reviews are generally regarded as the highest level of clinical evidence. If systemic reviews confirm the benefit of any therapy, there is little doubt left, and that therapy becomes a golden standard. Thus, it would be correct to say that PEMF therapy is a well-proven way to heal broken bones faster.
Although there is no doubt that PEMF works, there is also a need to understand how it works. Understanding its mechanism of action is complex. It is because PEMF therapy appears to help in multiple ways. It boosts cellular energy metabolism, improves microcirculation, reduces inflammation. More importantly, it seems that it may even modulate gene expression. It appears that activation of osteogenic genes may be the main way in which it helps heal broken bones faster.
Whatever be the mechanism of action, but it is evident from the studies that PEMF increases the activity of various cells. It boosts bone mineralization. Further, PEMF may help due to other ways, like its ability to reduce inflammation.
It is also worth understanding that bone fracture also causes soft tissue injury, injury to surrounding tendons and ligaments. What is good about PEMF is that it can also boost healing processes in these soft tissues. PEMF therapy even helps improve the healing of the skin.
There are many studies regarding the effect of PEMF on soft tissue and skin healing. Some are experimental studies in lab animals, and others are clinical studies. Most of these studies show that PEMF may considerably boost healing processes. PEMF is suitable for use from the first days of trauma. It may be perfect for improving healing rates during the first couple of weeks.
PEMF has so many effects on healing processes that some are calling it a way of tissue engineering. For example, PEMF may stimulate stem cells, alter the activity of immune cells, increase gene expression, boost levels of growth factors, affect NO signaling, reduce cytokines and inflammation.
What is good about PEMF is that it is non-invasive. It does not interfere with other treatment methods. One can use it along with other medications and supplements. There is no need to remove the dressing. It is safe for prolonged and regular use.
Needless to say, that PEMF therapy is intended for use as an add-on treatment along with other therapies. It is not intended to replace other treatments. However, it can help improve the healing of broken bones and wounds considerably when used and other well-known therapies.
Fortunately, PEMF therapy is now widely available. PEMF devices are compact and easy to use. Moreover, they have many other functions like light therapy, infrared therapy. All these additional therapies may further help reduce pain and inflammation.
PEMF therapy is entirely safe for combining with other non-pharmacological treatments and devices. In addition, there are no known adverse effects of PEMF. Even more, PEMF may improve drug delivery to wounds and enhance the response of healing bones to medical and nutritional therapies.
To conclude, PEMF is one of the safest ways to help heal broken bones and speed up wound healing. It might not be very potent, but then it is highly safe for prolonged use. Moreover, the use of PEMF therapy does not require much training or expertise.